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Library of the Marine Corps 


FMFM 1-0 

Leading Marines 




ho. 6-11 


U.S. Marine Corps 

PCN 139 000001 00 

MCCDC (C 42) 
27 Kov 2002 





1. For administrative purposes. FJv-IFM 1-0 is reidentified as MCWP 6-11 

143 000129 

Headquarters United States Marine Corps 
- Washington, D.C. 20380-1775 

3 January 1995 


The most important responsibility in our Corps is leading 
Marines. If we expect Marines to lead and if we expect 
Marines to follow, we must provide the education of the heart 
and of the mind to win on the battlefield and in the barracks, 
in war and in peace. Traditionally, that education has taken 
many forms, often handed down from Marine to Marine, by 
word of mouth and by example. 

Our actions as Marines every day must embody the legacy 
of those who went before us. Their memorial to us — their 
teaching, compassion, courage, sacrifices, optimism, humor, 
humility, commitment, perseverance, love, guts, and 
glory — is the pattern for our daily lives. This manual 
attempts to capture those heritages of the Marine Corps' 
approach to leading. It is not prescriptive because there is no 
formula for leadership. It is not all-inclusive because to 
capture all that it is to be a Marine or to lead Marines defies 
pen and paper. Instead, it is intended to provide those 
charged with leading Marines a sense of the legacy they have 
inherited, and to help them come to terms with their own 

MMm CORPS mtMn mm 

personal leadership style. The indispensable condition of 
Marine Corps leadership is action and attitude, not words. As 
one Marine leader said, "Don't tell me how good you are. 
Show me!" 

Marines have been leading for over 200 years and today 
continue leading around the globe. Whether in the field or in 
garrison, at the front or in the rear. Marines, adapting the 
time-honored values, traditions, customs, and history of our 
Corps to their generation, will continue to lead — and continue 
to win. 

This manual comes to life through the voices, writings, 
and examples of not one person, but many. Thousands of 
Americans who have borne, and still bear, the title "Marine" 
are testimony that "Once a Marine, Always a Marine" and 
"Semper Fidelis" are phrases that define our essence. It is to 
those who know, and to those who will come to know, this 
extraordinary way of life that this book is dedicated. 

C. E. MUNDY, Jr. / 

General, U.S. Marine Corps 
Commandant of the Marine Corps 

DISTRIBUTION: 139 00000100 


FMFM 1-0 

Leading Marines 


Chapter 1. Our Ethos 

The U. S. Marine — Every Marine a Rifleman — Soldiers of 
the Sea — The Marine Tradition 

Chapter 2. Foundations 

The Unique Obligations of Marine Corps Service — 
Establishing and Maintaining Standards — Setting the 
Example — Individual Courage — Unit Esprit — Being 

Chapter 3. Challenges 

Friction — Moral Challenge — Physical Challenge — 
Overcoming Challenges: Adaptability, Innovation, 
Decentralization, and Will — Fighting Power and Winning 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 


Marine Corps Manual, Paragraph 1100 — Core Values — 
Leadership Traits — Leadership Principles — The Oaths — 



FMFM 1-0 Introduction 


Leading Marines describes a leadership philosophy that 
reflects our traditional strengths as an institution and attempts 
to define the very ethos of being a Marine. It is about the 
inseparable relationship between the leader and the led, and is 
as much about the individual Marine — ^the bedrock upon 
which our Corps is built — as it is about any leader. There is 
less a line between the leader and the led than a bond. It is 
also about the Corps; about that unspoken feeling among 
Marines that is more than tradition or the cut of the uniform. 
It flows from the common but unique forge from which 
Marines come, and it is about the undefmable spirit that 
forms the character of our Corps. It draws from the shared 
experiences of danger, violence, the adrenaline of combat, 
and the proximity to death. All of this is based upon certain 
fundamental traits and principles of leading. Marines are not 
bom knowing them, but must learn what they are and what 
they represent. 

When teaching Marines, we have always drawn from a 
wealth of material that lies in our heritage and in our 
traditions. To capture some of that legacy, this manual begins 

Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

with a chapter on our ethos, a chapter that attempts to iden- 
tify just what it is that makes Marines. Being a Marine, after 
all, is different, and, therefore, leading Marines is differ- 
ent from leading in any other walk of life. It must be 
different because of who and what we are and what we do. It 
is different because of the character of our Corps — a char- 
acter that lies at the very foundation of individual cama- 
raderie, unit cohesion, and combat effectiveness. It is this 
character — our ethos — ^that gives Marines the pride, con- 
fidence, and hardness necessary to win. 

Winning means victory in daily life as well as in combat. 
If a Marine fails to uphold our standards and dishonors 
oneself or our Corps in peacetime by failing to support fellow 
Marines, by failing to do his or her best to accomplish the 
task at hand, or by failing to follow ethical standards in daily 
life, how can we expect that same Marine to uphold these 
critical foundations of our Corps in the searing cauldron of 

Thus, the most fundamental element of leading Marines is 
to understand what it is to be a Marine, and it is on this 
understanding that we begin. 

The second chapter focuses on the foundations of Marine 
Corps leadership — our core values, and the leadership traits 
and principles that are taught to every Marine. These are the 
ethical standards by which all Marines are judged. They are. 

FMFM 1-0 Introduction 

ultimately, why Marines fight. 

The third chapter helps Marines understand some of the 
challenges to leading and discusses how Marines can 
overcome them. It relies on the stories of Marine 
heroes — some well known, others not so well known — to 
serve as anchors that show Marine character and vividly 
depict, through action, what is required to lead Marines. 

Our leadership style is a unique blend of service ethos and 
time-tested concepts that support Marine leaders in peace and 
war. The epilogue summarizes our discussion of leading 
Marines and asks Marines to spend time in reflection, looking 
closely at their legacy, at who and what we are, and at who 
and what they are. 

Inescapably, this manual is based on the firm belief that, as 
others have said in countless ways, our Corps embodies the 
spirit and essence of those who have gone before. It is about 
the belief, shared by all Marines, that there is no higher 
calling than that of a United States Marine. It is about the 
traditions of our Corps that we rely upon to help us stay the 
course and continue the march when the going gets tough. It 
is about a "band of brothers" — men and women of every race 
and creed — who epitomize in their daily actions the core 
values of our Corps: honor, courage, commitment. 

It is about Marines. 

Chapter 1 

Our Ethos 

"Marine human material was not one whit better than that of 
the human society from which it came. But it had been ham- 
mered into form in a different forge, hardened with a different 
fire. The Marines were the closest thing to legions the nation 
had. They would follow their colors from the shores of home 
to the seacoast of Bohemia, and fight well at either place. " 

"A Marine Corps officer was still an officer, and a sergeant 
behaved the way good sergeants had behaved since the 
time of Caesar, expecting no nonsense, allowing none. And 
Marine leaders had never lost sight of their primary — their 
only — mission, which was to fight. " ' 

— T. R. Fehrenbach 

FMFM 1-0 

Our Ethos 

Being a Marine is a state 
of mind. It is an experi- 
ence some have likened more 
to a calling than a profession. 
Being a Marine is not a 
job — not a pay check; it is not 
an occupational specialty. It 
is not male or female, major- 
ity or minority; nor is it a rank 
insignia. Stars, bars, or chev- 
rons are only indicators of the 
responsibility or authority we 
hold at a given time. Rather, being a Marine comes from the 
eagle, globe, and anchor that is tattooed on the soul of every 
one of us who wears the Marine Corps uniform. It is a sear- 
ing mark in our innermost being which comes after the rite of 
passage through boot camp or Officer Candidates School 
when a young man or woman is allowed for the first time to 
say, "I'm a United States Marine." And unlike physical or 
psychological scars, which, over time, tend to heal and fade in 
intensity, the eagle, globe, and anchor only grow more de- 
fined — ^more intense — ^the longer you are a Marine. "Once a 
Marine, always a Marine." 

"Among Marines there is a fierce loyalty to the Corps that 
persists long after the uniform is in mothballs. . . . Woven 
through that sense of belonging, like a steel thread, is an elit- 
ist spirit. Marines are convinced that, being few in number, 
they are selective, better, and, above all, different."^ 

Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

This matter of being different lies at the heart of our lead- 
ership philosophy and has been nourished over the years by 
combining the characteristics of soldiers, sailors, and airmen. 
The result is a sea soldier — an odd conglomeration that talks 
like one, dresses like another, and fights like them all. The 
determination to be different, and remain different, has mani- 
fested itself in many ways over the years — from military ap- 
pearance, to strict obedience to orders, to disciplined 
behavior, to adherence to traditional standards, and most 
of all, to an unyielding conviction that we exist to fight. 
Marines have been distinguished by these characteristics from 
the beginning. A sense of elitism has grown "from the fact 
that every Marine, whether enlisted or officer, goes through 
the same training experience. Both the training of recruits 
and the basic education of officers — going back to 
1 805 — have endowed the Corps with a sense of cohesiveness 
enjoyed by no other American service." ^ 

This matter of being different is at the very heart of leading 
Marines. It defines who and what we are by reflecting the 
mystical cords of the mind that bind all Marines. What we 
are, what we have been, what Marines will always be, is 

There is yet another element of being different that defines 
Marines, and that is selflessness: a spirit that places the self- 
interest of the individual second to that of the institution we 
know as the Corps. That selflessness is stronger nowhere in 
American society than among Marines. 


FMFM 1-0 

Our Ethos 

Our ethos has been shaped by ordinary men and 
women — heroes who showed extraordinary leadership and 
courage, both physical and moral, as they shaped the special 
character that is the essence of our Corps. They are heroes 
and leaders who are remembered not by their names, or rank, 
or because they received a decoration for valor. They are re- 
membered because they were Marines. 

The story is told that in 
June 1918, during the First 
World War, an American lady 
visited one of the field hospi- 
tals behind the French Army. 
"It happened that occasional 
casualties of the Marine Bri- 
gade . . . were picked up by 
French stretcher-bearers and 
evacuated to French hospitals. 
And this lady, looking down 
a long, crowded ward, saw 
on a pillow a face unlike 
the fiercely whiskered Gallic 
heads there displayed in rows. 

She went to it. 'Oh,' she said, 'surely, you are an American!' 
'No, ma'am,' the casualty answered, 'I'm a Marine.' " ^ 

Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

Sixty- five years later, a veteran of the terrorist bombing in 
Beirut stood amidst the rubble, carnage, and despair sur- 
rounding his fallen comrades, barraged by questions from 
news reporters. "Should you be here? Should anyone be 
here? Should the United States pull out?" The young lance 
corporal's answer was straightforward: "Where else should I 
be? I'm a United States Marine. If anyone must be here, it 
should be Marines." 

Another Beirut veteran, wounded and evacuated to a hospi- 
tal in Germany, unable to talk or see, was visited by the Com- 
mandant. As the general stooped beside the Marine to say a 
few words of comfort into his ear, the lance corporal reached 
up to feel the stars to make sure that the man talking to him 
was who he claimed to be. Unable to see or speak, weak 
from a concussion and other injuries, the young Marine mo- 
tioned for something with which to write. He could have 
written anything; he could have asked for anything. Instead, 
he wrote, "Semper Fi" — Always Faithful. He was concerned 
more about his Corps and his fellow Marines than himself. ^ 


FMFM 1-0 Our Ethos 

The u. s. marine 

"Success in battle is not a function of how many show up, but 
who they are. " ^ 

Individual Marines — like those described above — are the 
bedrock upon which our Corps' spirit is built. From the first 
day of recruit training, to their first assignments, to their first 
celebration of the Marine Corps birthday, each Marine is in- 
fused with an understanding of the deeds of his or her prede- 
cessors. "Recruit training, both officer and enlisted, has long 
been 'the genesis of the enduring sense of brotherhood that 
characterizes the Corps.' New recruits are told the day they 
enter training that, as one Marine leader put it, 'A Marine 
believes in his God, in his Country, in his Corps, in his bud- 
dies, and in himself " ^ What happens on the parade decks of 
Parris Island and San Diego or in the woods of Quantico is 
what makes Marines — it is the instillation of "an intangible 
esprit along with the complicated, specific knowledge of sol- 

Marines undergo a personal transformation at recruit train- 
ing. There, they receive more than just superb training; they 
are ingrained with a sense of service, honor, and discipline. It 
is there, as a former recruit depot Commanding General said, 
that Marines develop a "sense of brotherhood, interdepen- 
dence, and determination to triumph." The Corps' history is 
full of tales of individual triumphs — Daly, Butler, Puller, 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

Basilone, Streeter, Huff, Vargas, Petersen, Wilson, Barrow, 
and countless others — that exhibit the indomitable spirit of 
Marines in combat and in surmounting day-to-day challenges. 
Sustaining that spirit are "old battles, long forgotten, that 
secured our nation . . . scores of skirmishes, far off, such as 
Marines have nearly every year . . . traditions of things en- 
dured and things accomplished, such as regiments hand down 

This spirit was clearly evident in the dark, opening days of 
the Korean War. In July 1950, the 1st Provisional Marine 
Brigade was rushed to Korea to assist the Army in stemming 
the North Korean tide. In August, a British military observer 
of the desperate fighting in and around Miryang sent the fol- 
lowing dispatch: "The situation is critical and Miryang may 
be lost. The enemy has driven a division-sized salient across 
the Naktong. More will cross the river tonight. If Miryang is 
lost ... we will be faced with a withdrawal from Korea. I am 
heartened that the Marine Brigade will move against the 
Naktong Salient tomorrow. They are faced with impossible 
odds, and I have no valid reason to substantiate it, but I have 
the feeling they will halt the enemy, . . . These Marines have 
[a] swagger, confidence, and hardness. . . . Upon this thin line 
of reasoning, I cling to the hope of victory." '° 

The following morning, the Marines attacked under the 
close air support of Marine gull-winged Corsairs. Two of the 
lead battalion's undermanned "thin rifle companies pushed 


FMFM 1-0 Our Ethos 

across the open rice fields" and "up the steep ridge. Three 
times the Marines reached the top; three times they" were 
thrown back. The fourth time, they stayed. " 

The Marines faced a night of repeated infiltrations and a 
series of hard attacks. As dawn approached, it became evi- 
dent that the Marines were there to stay, and by daylight, the 
Communist retreat became a rout. "When night descended 
again ... the only North Koreans left in the Naktong Bulge 
were dead ones amid the flotsam of a wrecked division. 
Thirty- four large-caliber artillery pieces were taken by the 
brigade. . . . Enemy casualties exceeded 4,000." '^ The "thin 
line" carried the day not because they had the strength of 
numbers or firepower; they carried the day because they were 

The spirit of the past continues today as new heroes step 
forward to take their place in the pantheon. It lives on in 
such phrases as "semper fidelis," "uncommon valor," "every 
Marine a rifleman," and "first to fight." Esprit, aggressive- 
ness, and courage are the essence of our Corps. 

Marines, as they always have, carry on that tradition as a 
force in readiness, able and willing to go anywhere and do 
anything. "Trained men who will stand and fight are never 
obsolete. It was not the bowman, but the long bow, not the 
cavalryman, but the horse, which vanished from the scene. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

Men — the man, the individual who is the Marine Corps sym- 
bol and stock-in-trade — constitute the one element which 
never changes." '^ 

Every marine a rifleman 

There is both a practical and moral dimension to the credo 
"every Marine a rifleman." '"^ The force structure of the Corps 
reflects its central purpose: an expeditionary force in readi- 
ness. And because it is expeditionary, it is also austere. Aus- 
terity places a premium on the role of every Marine. There 
are no "rear area" Marines, and no one is very far from the 
fighting during expeditionary operations. The success of each 
of these operations depends on the speed and flexibility with 
which Marines build combat power. Marines fighting with 
maneuver elements are backed up by fellow Marines who la- 
bor unceasingly to support the mission by building logistic 
bases, running truck convoys, distributing supplies, and fight- 
ing when needed to. 

This is nothing new. The first Marine aviator to earn the 
Medal of Honor in World War II, Captain Henry "Hank" 
Elrod, was a fighter pilot on Wake Island. His aircraft de- 
stroyed after 1 5 days of heroic defense of the island, he died 
leading a platoon of Marines. Actions of Marines like Cap- 
tain Elrod, and others, continue to demonstrate that every 


FMFM 1-0 Our Ethos 

Marine is a rifleman. These actions occur with such regular- 
ity, that non-Marines often show surprise on learning that 
there are any specialties in the Corps other than the infantry. 
This perception on the part of others is part of what makes the 
Corps the Corps and transcends the issue of occupational 

There is almost nothing more precious to a Marine than a 
fellow Marine. This traditional bond flows from the combat 
training which all Marines receive, officer and enlisted, and 
the shared danger and adversity inherent in expeditionary 

*'Those men on the line were my family y my home. They 
were closer to me than I can say, closer than any friends 
had been or ever would be. They had never let me down, 
and I couldn 't do it to thenh I had to be with them, rath- 
er than let them die and me live with the knowledge that 
I might have saved them. Men, I now knew, do not fight 
for flag or country, for the Marine Corps or glory or any 
other abstraction. They fight for one another. Any man in 
combat who lacks comrades who will die for him, or for 
whom he is willing to die, is not a man at all. He is truly 
damned,'* ^^ 

This cohesion between Marines is not a function of a par- 
ticular unit within the Corps. It is a function of the Corps it- 
self. When a Marine reports to a unit, he or she may be 
unknown personally, but is a known quantity professionally. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

Regardless of anything else known about them, their leaders 
know that they have been trained as Marines and that they 
bear, consequently, that indelible stamp of "rifleman." 

Nowhere is the effect of this more evident than when 
Marines are exposed to danger or to war. Fellow Marines, 
remote from the action, are usually uneasy. Marines are go- 
ing in harm's way, and there is an unnatural feeling of being 
"left out" among those not able to go. This attitude is bom of 
the confidence that every Marine can fight, that every Marine 
can contribute to the mission, and that every Marine is duty 
bound to share in the danger and the risk of every other 
Marine in the Corps. One Marine father sending his son into 
the Corps summed it up this way: "May our Corps not have 
to go in harm's way on your watch; but if it does, may you 
never be the second Marine there." 

This "spirit of confidence comes from training and tradi- 
tion; . . . each individual Marine, because of the fighting tra- 
dition of the Corps and the toughness of the training, is 
confident of his own ability and that of his buddies. That is 
why Marines fight with discipline and steadfastness in the 
toughest situations, when victory or survival becomes doubt- 
ful, why they turn to their belief in themselves, their buddies, 
and their units, fighting for one another, their unit, and the 
Marine Corps. This confidence in themselves and one an- 
other very often spells the difference between victory and sur- 
vival and defeat and annihilation. Service with the Marine 
Corps means service with a team. Everything that the Marine 


FMFM 1-0 Our Ethos 

Corps does is a team effort. Every unit from the Marine ex- 
peditionary force down to the fire team is organized into a 
team — a group of highly select, well-trained Marines all 
pointed to one objective. During the fight out from the frozen 
Chosin in 1950, a military observer watched with astonish- 
ment as gunners from a Marine Artillery gun crew integrated 
with cooks, bakers, and clerks to form a rifle platoon under 
the command of a lieutenant from motor transport, functioned 
perfectly as part of a rifle company. Many times . . . the suc- 
cess of the entire movement depended on the fighting ability 
of a single platoon or company. In many cases these units 
were made up of Marines and subordinate units that the day 
before were in another command. The success of the whole 
operation was possible only through the local successes of the 
small units. The small units were successful because individ- 
ual Marines are team players, trained to handle themselves in 
any situation and to subordinate their own desires to the ob- 
jectives of the team." '^ 

The sense that every Marine is a rifleman, demonstrated at 
the Chosin Reservoir and in a hundred other places, is at the 
heart of the ethos of the Corps. This unspoken feeling among 
Marines is more than tradition, or the cut of the uniform. It is 
the reality and adrenaline of a shared experience of danger 
and violence, the proximity to death, that which Oliver 
Wendell Holmes, a famous American Supreme Court Justice 
and Civil War veteran, called the "touch of fire." 


Leading Marines 

FMFM 1-0 

To visit the Marine monu- 
ment deep in Belleau Wood 
is to come to grips with the 
timeless importance of this 
unspoken feeling for the 
Marine Corps. As the shad- 
ows lengthen in that quiet 
glade, the image of the 
Marine on the monument 
seems to come to life, to 
move resolutely forward into 
the face of withering German 
fire, forever frozen in that 
bright June morning of 1918. 
In one sense, he embodies the 
spirit of the thousands of 
Marines, past and present, 
who have given their all for 
Country and Corps. But he 
also stands for the thousands 
of Marines yet to come, on 
whom this nation will depend 

for its security and to carry its flag in every clime and place. 

And in him, and them, there is the certainty that their sense 

of duty and honor will be strengthened by the assurance that 

every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. 


FMFM 1-0 

Our Ethos 

Soldiers of the sea 

"Unique among soldiers of the world, Marines are accus- 
tomed to service both ashore and afloat. The Marine Corps' 
'maritime character' has shaped the Corps since its inception. 
In 1775, Congress resolved that two battalions of Marines be 
raised '. . . such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with 
maritime affairs as to be able to serve to advantage at sea, 
when required.' " '^ The Congress went on to commission the 
first naval officer in our nation's history — the senior Marine 
officer of the Revolution. 



Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

The historic partnership between the Navy and the Marine 
Corps is a heritage that continues today. The anchor in our 
emblem symbolizes that the individual Marine remains a 
maritime soldier — a "soldier of the sea." Marine officers are 
"naval" officers. Our aviators are "naval" aviators. As early 
as 1798, the Secretary of the Navy noted that the Corps' mis- 
sions were of an "amphibious nature" and we have been 
members of the Department of the Navy since 1834. The 
partnership was a close one initially and grew closer over 
time — so close that sometimes one forgets that the Navy and 
Marine Corps are separate Services under the authority of a 
single Secretary. 

Though early Marines served primarily on board ships as 
part of the ship's company, they always had a secondary role 
to serve as expeditionary forces, whenever or wherever 
needed. Marine Captain Samuel Nicholas' amphibious expe- 
dition to New Providence Island in the Bahamas in 1776 and 
Marine Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon's 1804 landing in Trip- 
oli were the first deployments of American forces from home 
soil. They were the precursors to the role Marines played in 
World War II, Korea, Lebanon in 1958, in the Dominican Re- 
public in 1965, in Vietnam, Lebanon again in 1982, Grenada, 
in Southwest Asia, and scores of other places since. 



Our Ethos 

Mt^^ -rf^ 


The nation was a maritime one in 1775 when Marines first 
crossed the quarterdecks of the Continental fleet, and it is no 
less today. Three quarters of the world's population lives near 
a coastline, and four out of five world capitals are within 300 
miles of the sea. The vital relationship between the United 
States Navy and Marine Corps brings unique and powerful 
naval capabilities that are key to meeting our nation's security 

Ours is a world ideally suited for the employment of warri- 
ors who come from the sea, whose past and potential future 
battlegrounds are mainly in the "watery maze," green water, 
and coastal regions that comprise the littorals of the world. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

Operations along these littorals require special "training and 
preparation . . . along Marine Corps lines. It is not enough 
that the troops be skilled infantry men and jungle men or ar- 
tillery men . . . they must be skilled water men and jungle 
men who know it can be done — Marines with Marine train- 

The marine tradition 

"Such as regiments hand down forever. " 

The individual Marine, recruit and officer candidate training, 
"every Marine a rifleman," and our maritime character con- 
tribute to our heritage. Separately and collectively, they set 
us apart from other fighting forces and are the cement that 
glues the Marine Corps together and gives Marines a common 
outlook that transcends their grade, unit, or billet. Self-image 
is at the heart of the Marine Corps — a complex set of ideals, 
beliefs, and standards that define our Corps. Our selfless 
dedication to and elevation of the institution over self is un- 
common elsewhere. 

Ultimately undefinable, this self-image sets Marines apart 
from others and requires a special approach to leading. Con- 
sequently, Marine leaders must be forged in the same crucible 
and steeled with the same standards and traditions as those 


FMFM 1-0 Our Ethos 

placed in their charge — standards and traditions as old as our 
nation itself. 

Those who know Marines give many reasons why America 
needs a Marine Corps, but first and foremost, Marines exist to 
fight and win.^^ From this duty, from this reason for being, 
everything else flows. If it doesn't, it is meaningless. This 
spirit is the character of our Corps. It is the foundation of our 
cohesion and combat effectiveness, and it gives Marines that 
"swagger, confidence, and hardness" necessary for victo- 
ry — qualities seen in the hills of Korea and in hundreds of 
other engagements before and since. 

Marines believe that to be a Marine is special; that those 
good enough to become Marines are special; and that the in- 
stitution in which they are bonded is special. That is why the 
legion analogy is so appropriate for the Corps. Marines, far 
flung, performing dangerous — sometimes apparently mean- 
ingless and often overlooked missions — find strength and 
sense of purpose simply knowing that they are Marines in that 
mystical grouping they know as the Corps. 

Among the five Armed Services of our nation, four have 
Service songs; only the Marine Corps has its Hymn. For 
scores of years before it became recently fashionable to stand 
for all Service songs. Marines always stood when our Hymn 
was played. And to this day, while others stand with cheers 
and applause to their Service song. Marines stand quietly, 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

unwaveringly at attention, as the Hymn of their Corps is 
played. Marines are different. 

"The 1st Marine Division, fighting its way back from the 
Chosin Reservoir in December 1950, was embattled amid the 
snows from the moment the column struck its camp at Ha- 
garu. By midnight, after heavy loss through the day, it had 
bivouacked at Kotori, still surrounded, still far from the sea." 
The commanding general was alone in his tent. It was his 
worst moment. "The task ahead seemed hopeless. Suddenly 
he heard music." Outside, some Marines, on their way to a 
warming tent, were softly singing the Marines' Hymn. " 'All 
doubt left me,' " said the general. " 'I knew then we had it 

For more than 200 years, the steady performance of the 
Marine Corps has elevated it to the epitome of military excel- 
lence. It is an elite fighting force renowned for its success in 
combat, esprit de corps, and readiness always to be "first to 
fight." "More than anything else. Marines have fought and 
. . . won because of a commitment — ^to a leader and to a small 
brotherhood where the ties that bind are mutual respect and 
confidence, shared privation, shared hazard, shared triumph, a 
willingness to obey, and determination to follow."^' 

'*The man who will go where his colors go, without ask- 
ing, who will fight a phantom foe in jungle and mountain 
range, without counting, and who will suffer and die in the 
midst of incredible hardship, without complaint, is still what 


FMFM 1-0 Our Ethos 

he has always been, from Imperial Rome to sceptered Brit- 
ain to democratic America, He is the stuff of which legions 
are made, 

''His pride is in his colors and his regiment, his training 
hard and thorough and coldly realistic, to fit him for what 
he must face, and his obedience is to his orders. As a le- 
gionary, he held the gates of civilization for the classical 
world; , , , he has been called United States Marine, "^^ 

The Marine Corps' vision of leading is less concerned with 
rank, self-identity, recognition, or privilege than the essence 
of our Corps: the individual Marine and the unyielding deter- 
mination to persevere because Marines and the Corps do not 
fail. Our vision of leading is linked directly to our common 
vision of warfighting, which needs leaders devoted to leading, 
capable of independent and bold action, who are willing and 
eager to assume new and sometimes daunting responsibilities, 
willing to take risks — not because they may succeed, but be- 
cause the Corps must succeed. 

This always has been, and always will be, what leading 
Marines is all about. 


Chapter 2 


"A spirit of comradeship and brotherhood in arms came into 
being in the training camps and on the battlefields. This spirit 
is too fine a thing to be allowed to die. It must be fostered and 
kept alive and made the moving force in all Marine Corps or- 
ganizations. " ' 

-Major General John A. Lejeune 

"Leaders must have a strong sense of the great responsibility 
of their office; the resources they will expend in war are hu- 
man lives. " ^ 

— FMFM 1 

FMFM 1-0 Foundations 

Imagine you are a rifleman in a company ready to assault a 
line of enemy machine gun bunkers. You are lying flat on 
the ground protected for the moment by a slight rise between 
you and the enemy. But just above your head, the enemy's 
guns "are throwing a visible and audible curtain of lead, 
which thuds into the trees around you, causing you to wonder 
if it makes the same sound when it hits flesh. You tell your- 
self it is impossible ... to penetrate that curtain of fire alive." 
Yet, in a moment, a sergeant's voice will boom, "Let's go! 
You can't live forever!" "But all you hear now is the clatter 
of the machine guns. The vision of the dead and wounded 
you saw on the way up to the front rises to plague you; your 
belly deflates and lies flat against your backbone, and all the 
gallant thoughts you had hoped to have at this moment are 
gone. You are naked and alone with the instinct of self- 

Why do individuals rush forward against their most basic 
instincts? Why do Marines take their lives in their hands and 
lead a charge straight into enemy guns? In World War II, 
what was it that made Marines clamber out of their landing 
craft into water of unknown depth, and charge into a hail of 
machine-gun and artillery fire, not knowing whether they 
would ever make it to the beach? In Vietnam, what was it 
that made a Marine "take the point" and start down the dark 
and misty jungle trail? In Desert Storm, what was it that 
made helicopter pilots fly in the smoke and oil clouds when 
they could not see the ground below or the sky above? 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

At the heart of why Marines are able to put mission accom- 
plishment over concern for their own safety is leader- 
ship — leadership that is the combination of the intangible 
elements of our ethos and the more tangible elements of our 
leadership philosophy. These tangible elements include the 
Marine Corps Manual and our core values, leadership traits 
and principles, the oath all Marines take when assuming of- 
fice or enlisting, and special trust and confidence. These ele- 
ments are reproduced in the appendices, and it is important 
that Marines understand not only the concepts behind each of 
them, but also how they fit together so they can be used effec- 
tively by Marine leaders. 

FMFM 1 describes our profession as one where leaders 
"are expected to be students of the art and science of war at 
all levels . . . with a solid foundation in military theory and a 
knowledge of military history and the timeless lessons to be 
gained from it." ^ Part of that foundation lies not only in our 
ethos, but is also based on the elements that help form our 
leadership philosophy. 

These elements contain the concepts that help give direc- 
tion and guidance to Marine leaders. Like blocks in an arch, 
each depends on others to provide support. With our core 
values serving as the keystone, they all serve to buttress the 
structure which Marines leaders may draw upon. Just as 
builders must use every block in the arch to support it, so too 
must Marine leaders use every element of our leadership 
foundation at their disposal. But, just as every arch is 


FMFM 1-0 Foundations 

different, requiring different sizes and shapes of building 
blocks, every leadership challenge is different, requiring a 
different use and blend of the leadership foundations. 

To meet these challenges, leaders must have the respect of 
their followers. If followers do not believe their leader is op- 
erating from a foundation of values, then words become hol- 
low and lack credibility and the leader will be ineffective. 
Whether a squad leader, first sergeant, battalion commander, 
or force commander, a leader must embrace both the intangi- 
ble and the tangible elements of our philosophy. They are 
the guiding beliefs and principles that give us strength, influ- 
ence our attitudes, and guide our behavior. They bond the 
family of Marines into a force able to overcome every 

All Marines pass through the crucible of our entry level 
training. In that harsh and uncompromising forge, their steel 
is tempered to withstand the stresses of future challenges 
even more severe and testing. It is here that we begin to lay 
the foundation. At the very center of this process is under- 
standing and applying all the elements of our leadership phi- 
losophy — including our ethos. Marine leadership, wherever it 
is exercised, is firmly grounded in these values and must meet 
the demands of our unique service. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

The unique obligations of marine corps 


"Military service is a dijficult profession and it makes unique 
demands on each individual Unless the Corps' leaders rec- 
ognize and dedicate themselves to meeting those demands in 
a professional manner, the Corps will not stand ready to as- 
sist with the important role of the military — keeping the na- 
tion secure. " ^ 

Our obligations as Marines to society are different. Marines 
adhere to a moral philosophy based on these special obliga- 
tions that is also separate and more demanding than those of 
the larger society we serve. Our military life — ^the profession 
of arms — has been described as "the ordered application of 
force under an unlimited liability." ^ That means Marines 
must subordinate their own self-interest to the overall interest 
of the group. This special military obligation sets Marines 
apart from society as a whole. And it is this unique obliga- 
tion of Marine Corps service that places special demands on 
Marine leaders. 

From the earliest landings of the Corps, Marines have 
fought from the sea, with the water to their backs, and no- 
where to go but forward. At places such as Guadalcanal, 
Tarawa, and Inchon the fighting, often desperate, usually 
bloody, demanded that every Marine fight and every Marine 


FMFM 1-0 Foundations 

lead; there could be no other way. The bond which grows 
among warriors who, together, experience great danger in the 
crucible of war is difficult to describe. It is the steel cable 
that binds every Marine, one to another, and all Marines to 
the Corps. That every Marine is a warrior and a leader is 
more than a capability: it is an attitude and a standard of 

Establishing and maintaining standards 

Maintaining this attitude and standard of excellence is a re- 
sponsibility not limited to officers, staff noncommissioned of- 
ficers, or noncommissioned officers. It is the responsibility 
of all Marines. In fact, one of the basic tenets of Marine 
Corps leadership is that whenever two Marines are together, 
of whatever grade, one is in charge. 

Paragraph 1 100 of the Marine Corps Manual, contained in 
the appendices, requires leaders to maintain leadership stan- 
dards and identifies qualities that every leader should possess. 
It emphasizes that these qualities can be developed within the 
individual Marine, and that Marine leaders have the responsi- 
bility for developing those qualities. Concepts such as com- 
radeship and brotherhood, teacher and scholar, and love of 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

Corps and country are reproduced just as Major General 
Commandant John Lejeune first articulated them nearly 75 
years ago. 

These standards, and the others contained in the appendi- 
ces, are learned by all Marines in entry-level training. They 
provide points of departure and a yardstick from which 
Marines can determine their own leadership abilities and as- 
sist their subordinates. They are generally self-explanatory, 
and are always best discussed through the use of action- 
centered examples. Because they are simple concepts, they 
can be used to build a "short list" of actions and techniques 
that will assist leaders everywhere. They are straightforward 
and very basic, and that is their value. Although they do not 
guarantee success, just as the principles of war are used to 
help us think about warfighting, these tangible elements help 
us think about leadership. 

These standards and ideals — from ethos to traits and prin- 
ciples to our core values — are recognized as essentials of 
good leadership. But they are only so many words unless 
Marine leaders breathe life into them. They do that through 
personal example. 


FMFM 1-0 Foundations 

Setting the example 

"Leadership is a heritage which has passed from Marine to 
Marine since the founding of the Corps. . . . mainly acquired 
by observation, experience, and emulation. Working with 
other Marines is the Marine leader's school. " ^ 

The tradition of leadership education in our Corps since its 
earliest days has often been described as "leading by exam- 
ple." In fact, leadership, in the long run, depends upon the 
example set by the leader, not only as a warfighter, but also as 
a citizen and human being. Being in the Corps does not 
change this simple rule. On the contrary, because we are 
Marines, the effect of our example is emphasized and magni- 
fied a hundred-fold. Leaders setting the example is far more 
important in the Marine Corps than in any other activ- 
ity — military or civilian.^ 

A few years ago, the Commandant received a letter from a 
friend of the Corps. It describes as well as anyone could the 
importance Marine leaders put on setting the example: 

"Recently I was in an air terminal. Most military people 
there presented a pretty sloppy appearance — coats unbut- 
toned, ties loosened, etc. There was a Marine corporal in uni- 
form who was just the opposite. I spoke to the Marine and 
pointed out the difference to him. I asked him why it was so? 
His answer was: The Marines don't do that.' " ^ 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

Setting a personal example requires "high moral standards 
reflecting virtue, honor, patriotism, and subordination in per- 
sonal behavior and in performance." '^ These are inner quali- 
ties that mark leaders. Rather than outward marks of 
greatness, they are often deeply buried, and, in many cases, 
one must look closely to see an individual's inner strengths. 

For example, consider how the 13th Commandant, Major 
General John A. Lejeune, described Medal of Honor recipient 
Sergeant Major John H. Quick: 

"Perhaps of all the Marines I ever knew. Quick approached 
more nearly the perfect type of noncommissioned officer. A 
calm, forceful, intelligent, loyal and courageous man he was. 
I never knew him to raise his voice, lose his temper, or use 
profane language, and yet he exacted and obtained prompt 
and explicit obedience from all persons subject to his or- 

In another example. Major General Alexander Vandegrift 
was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1942 for his "tenacity, 
courage, and resourcefulness" against a strong and deter- 
mined enemy in the battle for Guadalcanal. In later years, "a 
character sketch of him . . . included this: 'He is so polite and 
so soft-spoken that he is continually disappointing the people 
whom he meets. They find him lacking in the fire-eating 
traits they like to expect of all Marines, and they find it diffi- 
cult to believe that such a mild-mannered man could really 
have led and won the bloody fight.' When another officer 


FMFM 1-0 


spoke warmly of Vandegrift's coolness under fire, his 'grace 
under pressure,' ... he replied: 'I shouldn't be given any 
credit, I'm built that way.' " '^ 

It is not enough that Marine leaders themselves set the ex- 
ample. Their followers must be equally aware of the impor- 
tance of following established standards. Followership is just 
as important as leadership. Followers are the backbone of 
any effective organization because without loyal, dedicated 
followers there can be no effective leaders. As one leader put 
it, "Every Marine, from the Commandant down, is a follower. 
The good followers, those who may be depended on to carry 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

out their instructions precisely, without regard to difficulty, 
hazard or personal risk, are the substance of the Corps. And 
where combat circumstance, as it often does, suddenly thrusts 
upon the follower the responsibilities of a leader, those who 
are properly indoctrinated seize the opportunity and suc- 

Corporal James Barrett's actions demonstrate clearly how 
the followers' and the leader's responsibilities merge. 

While he served as a squad leader with Company I, 3d Bat- 
talion, 26th Marines, in the Republic of Vietnam, his "com- 
pany came under heavy mortar, rocket, and artillery fire fol- 
lowed by a supported infantry assault by a numerically 
superior North Vietnamese Army force. In the initial attack, 
numerous casualties were taken and the company was forced 
to withdraw to a more advantageous position. Undaunted, 
Corporal Barrett courageously maintained his squad's position 
and directed accurate counter fire against the hordes of as- 
saulting enemy. Assuming control of the platoon when his 
platoon commander became a casualty, he rallied his men, re- 
organized the platoon and led them in an effective counterat- 
tack against the enemy. With complete disregard for his own 
safety, he moved from position to position, encouraging his 
men and resupplying them with ammunition. Unhesitatingly, 
he aided the wounded and directed their evacuation. During 
the six hour ordeal, he repositioned his men five times to 
thwart the enemy advance and inflicted numerous casualties 
on the enemy force." "^ 


FMFM 1-0 Foundations 

In the Marine Corps, we are trained to endure combat, vio- 
lence, and death — along with other less arduous situations, in 
both peace and war. Like Corporal Barrett, we are trained to 
make life or death decisions over both our Marines and our 
enemies. In the end, the decisions we make must pass the test 
of ethical behavior. 

Ethical behavior is action taken specifically in observance 
of a defined standard of conduct. For Marines, ethics are the 
standards of our Corps. They set forth general guidelines 
about what we ought to do. As a result, the individual is ob- 
ligated to apply judgment to a given set of circumstances. 
Judgment, and therefore choice, is at the center of ethical con- 
duct. Every Marine, regardless of grade, has this respon- 

Ethical choices often involve a moral dilemma: the neces- 
sity to choose between competing obligations in circum- 
stances that prevent one from doing both. But, there is more 
to it than this. Action is at the heart of ethical behavior. An 
academic understanding of what is right and wrong is irrele- 
vant unless it is coupled to appropriate action. And even 
then, the answer is not always clear. Consider the options 
facing this helicopter pilot: 

The pilot in command of a single aircraft was diverted for 
an emergency extraction of a reconnaissance team. He con- 
tacted the team and planned the approach for pick-up. Just as 
he landed, the aircraft began to take automatic weapons fire. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

The reconnaissance team made for the helo as the fire became 
more intense. As soon as the six Marines were aboard, the 
crew chief shouted "Take Off!" As the pilot lifted off, the 
crew chief again came up on the ICS and reported that the 
team leader had just informed him that two Marines were left 
in the zone — ^two Marines who had provided protective fire 
for the others who boarded the aircraft. The team leader 
urged the pilot to go back to get them.'^ 

The helicopter pilot faced a moral dilemma. The choices 
were obvious: return to the landing zone to rescue the 
Marines and risk everything or leave them but save the air- 
craft, crew, and the six rescued Marines. The pilot had to 
weigh his responsibilities to the crew against his responsibili- 
ties to fellow Marines left in the landing zone. His choice 
would be conditioned by values and attitudes absorbed in 
training. They would be difficult, and they would be his 

Ethical decisionmaking occurs every time a Marine is 
faced with a need to decide — now — ^what to do. It may be a 
cut-and-dried decision in garrison or it may be one on the bat- 
tlefield that is far more ambiguous like the one facing the 
helicopter pilot. At the heart of the leader's ability to choose 
correctly is a firm grounding in both institutional and individ- 
ual values that will point the correct direction, even when the 
Marine is tired or acting under conditions of extreme stress. 


FMFM 1-0 Foundations 

These ethical guidelines offer all Marines a proven set of 
standards by which all Marine actions — or inactions — may be 

A professional soldier must be prepared "to rapidly sift 
through situations and prescribe certain ethical and moral 
limits to actions which he will tolerate — decisions required 
. . . under the most trying of times. Simply because we bear 
arms and wield awesome power, we do not have limitless 
authority to unleash it without due requirement." We may not 
say, as one enemy commander said, " 'Kill all, Burn all. 
Destroy all.' " '' 

Marine leaders must make difficult choices in peacetime, 
too. At times, these choices will place them in an unfavor- 
able light with either subordinates or higher authority. Re- 
gardless of the circumstances, all Marines are expected to 
choose and to be accountable for their choice. 

It was standing operating procedure in Company A to 
award a 72-hour liberty to platoons which went 30 days with 
no disciplinary problems. Returning from a lengthy field 
training period, the 1st Platoon reached 28 days with no prob- 
lems, only to have a Marine go UA on the 29th. No one out- 
side the platoon knew he was missing. The platoon 
commander faced a moral dilemma: ignore the UA and en- 
sure his Marines went on a well-earned liberty; or report the 
absence and forfeit liberty and, perhaps, the morale of his pla- 
toon. The platoon commander chose the latter and reported 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

the UA to his company commander. The Marines were dis- 
appointed — not only at the loss of hard-earned liberty, but 
also, initially, in their leader. But slowly, over succeeding 
days, they came to respect the difficult choice made by the 
platoon commander. Soon, they came to realize that they 
were led by a leader who could be counted on to do what was 
right, no matter how difficult or unpopular. Moreover, the 
company commander realized he had a subordinate he could 

It is not possible to anticipate every circumstance that a 
leader will face either in combat or in garrison. Corporal 
Barrett faced a unique set of circumstances and so did the 
Platoon Commander of the 1 st Platoon. It is neither possible 
to hand down a set of rules that will answer every question, 
nor is it possible to publish a code that will satisfy every de- 
mand. What is possible is the establishment of a simple test: 

"If you are prepared to talk about your actions, or lack 
thereof, in front of a national audience, made up of all your 
seniors, peers, subordinates, and friends who share the same 
professional values, and whose opinions you value, then your 
behavior was, or is, probably ethical in nature." ^^ 

While the test itself is straightforward, the answers are not. 
Giving the right answers, and more importantly, doing the 
right things, requires courage. 


FMFM 1-0 Foundations 


Courage can be misunderstood.'^ It is more than the ability 
"to overcome the jitters, to quell fear, to conquer the desire to 
run." '^ It is the ability to know what is, or is not, to be feared. 
An infantryman charging a bunker is not hampered by the 
fear that he may be struck down a few paces from his fighting 
hole. A pilot is not afraid of losing all hydraulic power in his 
aircraft. They are prepared for those outcomes. A Marine in 
battle fears disgracing himself by running. He fears not "los- 
ing his life, but losing his honor. He may not be able to pre- 
serve his life, but he can always preserve his honor. That 
much is within his power. ... To fear disgrace but not death, 
to fear not duty but dereliction from duty — ^this is courage. 
The truly courageous do not live in anxiety from morning to 
night. They are calm because they know who they are." ^° 

Marines overcome our natural fear of injury and death and 
fight for three chief reasons: ^' First, we are well-trained and 
well-led. Second, we have convictions that will sustain us to 
the last sacrifice. Third, we fight for one another. 

At Tarawa, on November 20, 1943, "the first to disembark 
from the jeep lighter, First Lieutenant Hawkins unhesitatingly 
moved forward under heavy enemy fire at the end of the 
Betio Pier, neutralizing emplacements in coverage of troops 
assaulting the main beach positions. Fearlessly leading his 
men on to join the forces fighting desperately to gain a 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

beachhead, he repeatedly risked his life throughout the day 
and night to direct and lead attacks on pillboxes and installa- 
tions with grenades and demolitions. 

"At dawn on the following day, First Lieutenant Hawkins 
resumed the dangerous mission of clearing the limited beach- 
head of Japanese resistance, personally initiating an assault 
on a hostile position fortified by five enemy machine guns, 
and crawling forward in the face of withering fire, boldly 
fired point-blank into the loopholes and completed the de- 
struction with grenades. Refusing to withdraw after being se- 
riously wounded in the chest during this skirmish, First 
Lieutenant Hawkins steadfastly carried the fight to the en- 
emy, destroying three more pillboxes before he was caught in 
a burst of Japanese shellfire and mortally wounded." ^^ 

Although Hawkins was gone, his scout-sniper platoon 
continued their deadly work clearing out enemy bunkers. 
Hawkins had inspired his Marines to carry on without him. 
They were well-trained, well-led, and believed in each other 
and their cause. Of Hawkins, the assault commander said, 
"It's not often that you can credit a first lieutenant with win- 
ning a battle, but Hawkins came as near to it as any man 
could. He was truly an inspiration." 

Another leader, the commanding officer of Landing Team 
2/8, during the same action, was everywhere, "as cool as ice 
box lettuce." ^^ 


FMFM 1-0 Foundations 

"Major 'Jim' Crowe — former enlisted man, Marine Gunner, 
distinguished rifleman, star football player — was a tower of 
strength throughout the battle. His trademark red mustache 
bristling, a combat shotgun cradled in his arm, he exuded 
confidence and professionalism, qualities sorely needed on 
Betio that long day. Crowe ordered the coxswain of his 
LCVP 'put this goddamned boat in!' The boat hit the reef at 
high speed, sending the Marines sprawling. Quickly recover- 
ing, Crowe ordered his men over the sides, then led them 
through several hundred yards of shallow water, reaching the 
shore intact only four minutes behind his last wave of LVTs. 
. . . Crowe, clenching a cigar in his teeth and standing upright, 
growling at his men, 'Look, the sons of bitches can't hit me. 
Why do you think they can hit you? Get moving. Go!' Red 
Beach Three was in capable hands." ^'^ 

There is another kind of physical courage — a quiet courage 
that affects those all around. It is the kind of calm, physical 
courage that a leader has when all around is chaos and noise. 
Lieutenant Hawkins' and Major Crowe's commander at Ta- 
rawa had that kind of courage. The 4-day struggle to seize 
Betio Island reached such levels of ferocity that some won- 
dered whether the Marines were winning or losing. 

During the battle, especially the early part when the land- 
ing seemed to hang in the balance, Colonel David Shoup, the 
commanding officer of the 2d Marines, remained resolute. 
Trying to land, his LCVP was stopped by a reef He trans- 
ferred to an LVT which had to make three attempts before 


Leading Marines 

FMFM 1-0 

being able to land, but not before it was hit by plunging shell 
fire. Colonel Shoup "sustained a painful shell fragment 
wound in his leg, but led his small party out of the stricken 
vehicle and into the dubious shelter of the pier. From this po- 
sition, standing waist-deep in water, surrounded by thousands 
of dead fish and dozens of floating bodies, Shoup manned his 

ft 25 

"In many ways the battle ashore mirrored the worst trench 
warfare of World War I: infantry against machine guns. In 
the first day, Shoup's three battalions all lost about half their 
men and most of their unit cohesion; two reserve battalions 
suffered similar losses when their troops tried to wade ashore 


FMFM 1-0 Foundations 

from the reef through a hail of machine gun fire. Punching 
against the Japanese pillboxes with flame-throwers, demoli- 
tion charges, hand grenades, and the fire of a few tanks, the 
2d Marines and two 8th Marines battalions held only two 
shallow enclaves along Betio's northwestern shore at the end 
of the first day. 

"On the second day of the battle, the landing hung in 
the balance, but by the end of the day it swung toward the 
Marines. The scene around the island sickened the most 
hardened veterans. Along the beaches LVTs burned, and 
dead Marines by the score bobbed in lagoon water turned 
milky by gunfire-blasted coral dust. Smoke and flames blan- 
keted the island. Ruined small craft, broken supplies, and 
bodies swept along the reef, swirled around the long pier that 
ran from the shore toward the reef, and littered the beach. 
The smell of powder, flame, and burnt flesh reached even the 
amphibious transports. . . . 

"Bunker by bunker, the eight Marine battalions con- 
verged, assisted by tank reinforcements and 10th Marines 
pack howitzers. By the afternoon of the second day, Shoup 
reassured [General] Smith that the battle had turned: 
'Casualties many; percentage dead not known; combat effi- 
ciency: We are winning, ' "^^ 

Colonel Shoup' s assessment was correct and his calm cour- 
age under almost unimaginable conditions inspired seniors 
and subordinates alike. His quiet calmness radiated 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

throughout the battlefield and brought comfort to those who 
thought the issue was in doubt. 

The Armed Forces unification hearings that followed 
World War II provided Marines an opportunity to show a 
different kind of courage off the battlefield — moral cour- 
age — the courage to stand up for what is right and for what 
one believes. 

Interservice quarreling cost the Corps Brigadier General 
"Red Mike" Edson, holder of the Medal of Honor and two 
Navy Crosses. The Raider leader, who had served longer 
overseas in World War II than any other Marine officer, was 
considered by some to be a candidate for Commandant. He 
disagreed with the unification of the armed forces and could 
not support it. Edson wanted to speak about it publicly. To 
protect the Corps from criticism, he retired. He left active 
duty to pursue a course he believed was right. Edson "dem- 
onstrated that everyone had an option, if they only had the 
courage to pursue it." ^^ Some officers believed that the ex- 
ample set by Edson was one of the greatest contributions to 
the unification deliberations. 

Leading in combat is vastly different from leading in 
peacetime. Anybody can give orders and have them obeyed 
at a peacetime post or station. There, nothing blocks the way 
to obedience. The brig, pay reductions, and demotion may be 
all the incentive necessary to instill good order and discipline. 
But execution of orders in combat may mean "immediate 


FMFM 1-0 Foundations 

danger, or even the likelihood of being killed; the Marine 
needs to know why an order is given and how it is to be exe- 
cuted. Above all, Marines need to feel that the leader giving 
the order knows what he or she is about." ^^ 

Even given the best training, how Marines perform will de- 
pend on the kind of leadership they have, by the example and 
courage demonstrated by their leader. Napoleon said, "There 
are no bad regiments, only bad colonels." A unit led by an 
able and aggressive leader who commands respect because he 
set the example and demonstrated courage and confidence 
will perform any task asked of them. ^^ 

Unit esprit 

Esprit de corps, then, depends on good leadership primarily, 
but there are other factors. The term implies not only respect 
between officers and enlisted Marines, but also "a feeling of 
confidence and comradeship" among the Marines them- 
selves.^° It refers to the mental and emotional state of the en- 
tire unit. It is the spirit that motivates Marines to overcome 
seemingly insurmountable obstacles. "Each Marine feels the 
others have good fighting mettle; they will not let one another 
down. . . . And it means the Marines have pride in their 
achievements and their reputation as fighters — ^traditions 
which must be lived up to." ^^ Nowhere else were unit esprit 


Leading Marines 

FMFM 1-0 

and fighting spirit better demonstrated than in the actions 
of the 1st Marine Division in November and December 1950. 



"Ordered to withdraw ... in the face of tremendous pres- 
sure in the Chosin Reservoir area, the Division began an epic 
battle against the bulk of the enemy Third Route Army and, 
while small intermediate garrisons . . . held firmly against re- 
peated and determined attacks by hostile forces, gallantly 
fought its way successively to Hagaru-ri, Koto-ri, Chinhung- 
ni, and Hamhung over twisting, mountainous, and icy roads 
in sub-zero temperatures. 


FMFM 1-0 Foundations 

"Battling desperately night and day in the face of almost 
insurmountable odds throughout a period of two weeks of in- 
tense and sustained combat, the First Marine Division, Rein- 
forced, emerged from its ordeal as a fighting unit with its 
wounded, with its guns and equipment and with its prisoners, 
decisively defeating seven enemy divisions, together with ele- 
ments of three others, and inflicting major losses which seri- 
ously impaired the military effectiveness of the hostile forces 
for a considerable period of time. The valiant fighting spirit, 
relentless perseverance and heroic fortitude of the officers 
and men of the First Marine Division, Reinforced, in battle 
against a vastly outnumbering enemy, were in keeping with 
the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service." ^^ 

One observer from President Truman's White House, an 
Army major general, reported that "the Marine Corps was 
everything it claimed as a force in readiness. The First 
Marine Division is the most efficient and courageous combat 
unit I have ever seen or heard of.' " " 

Being ready 

Our approach to leading is simple, yet unique. It has been 
carefully tailored to the demands of an expeditionary force in 
readiness that must be capable, on a moment's notice, of de- 
ploying literally anywhere and doing whatever must be done 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

upon arrival — attacking, protecting, or assisting. Many times, 
decisions will have to be made in the rain, under the partial 
protection of a poncho, in the drizzle of an uncertain dawn, 
and without all the facts. At times like that, it will not always 
be possible to identify all the components of the problem, and 
use a lengthy and logical problem-solving process to reach a 
decision. In combat, the decision often must be immediate, 
and it might have to be instinctive. 

It is the Marine Corps' responsibility to prepare leaders of 
all grades for this moment which will inevitably come. It is 
the individual Marine's responsibility to overcome the chal- 
lenges of leading Marines. 

A Marine corporal described it this way: 

"If effective leadership is evident and functioning, we are 
strong and ready. If we are well disciplined, of high morale, 
possess an unquenchable unit spirit, and are efficient, we are 
the best in the business. 

"Strive to create discipline in yourself and your Marines. 
Encourage high morale, foster esprit, and train for efficiency. 
You may never win the Medal of Honor, you may never be 
cited for your outstanding example, but you will have an in- 
ner satisfaction that comes only to those that give their all. 
Then, if you listen carefully . . . you will hear the vojces of all 
the other good Marines who have gone before whisper the 
greatest commendation of them all — 'Well done. Marine.' 

I n34 


Chapter 3 


"An army that maintains its cohesion under the most murder- 
ous fire; that cannot be shaken by imaginary fears and resists 
well-founded ones with all its might; that, proud of its victo- 
ries, will not lose the strength to obey orders and its respect 
and trust for its officers even in defeat; whose physical 
power, like the muscles of an athlete, has been steeled by 
training in privation and effort; a force that regards such ef- 
forts as a means to victory rather than a curse on its cause; 
that is mindful of all these duties and qualities by virtue of the 
single powerful idea of the honor of its arms — such an army 
is imbued with the true military spirit. " ' 

— Carl von Clause witz 

FMFM 1-0 Challenges 


"Everything in war is very simple, but the simplest thing is 
difficult. The difficulties accumulate and end by producing a 
kind of friction that is inconceivable unless one has experi- 
enced war. " ^ 

Friction dominates war. It makes simple tasks hard, acts 
constantly to tear down the will of the individual Marine, 
and interferes with unit cohesion. It operates across the entire 
spectrum of conflict, from garrison activities to combat, and 
from Marine air-ground task force command elements down 
to the most forward fighting position. Friction can be caused 
by external factors such as the physical environment, the na- 
ture of the mission, or friendly or enemy action. Inadequate 
or inaccurate intelligence also contributes to friction by caus- 
ing uncertainty. This uncertainty is sometimes called the "fog 
of war," where things are not always what the leader ex- 
pected. "This expression describes both the literal fog created 
by the dust, smoke, and debris of the battlefield, and more im- 
portantly the mental fog of confusion and uncertainty created 
by lack of knowledge of the enemy, the chaotic noise, mental 
and physical fatigue, and fear."^ 

Friction's most lethal form, however, is self-induced and 
may be termed internal friction. Fear of the unknown breeds 
this paralysis. It is best overcome by vigorous leadership. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

which clearly sets out what is happening, how it is happening, 
and, most importantly, why it is happening. 

"Countless minor incidents — ^the kind you can never really 
foresee — combine to lower the general level of performance, 
so that one always falls far short of the intended goal. Iron 
will-power can overcome this friction; it pulverizes every ob- 
stacle, but of course it wears down the machine as well."'* As 
FMFM 1 states, "Whatever form it takes, because war is a hu- 
man enterprise, friction will always have a psychological as 
well as a physical impact." ^ 

The 1975 Cambodian seizure of the unarmed American 
container ship Mayaguez, and its subsequent recapture, is a 
classic example of what friction can do to leaders at all levels, 
and its ultimate impact on ground forces. 

The operation to recapture the crew and ship began with a 
sound plan based on the best available intelligence of enemy 
location, strength, disposition, and intentions. There were 
no reports of either antiair defenses or of the enemy's inten- 
tion to significantly resist the rescue. Because there were no 
Navy and Marine forces on station, the American command- 
er in Thailand decided to use Air Force helicopters and a 
Marine battalion flown from Okinawa. The plan called for 
two Marine assaults; one to board the Mayaguez, the other to 
land on Koh Tang Island where the U. S. crew was thought 
to be. 


FMFM 1-0 Challenges 

"The May 15 boarding of the Mayaguez proved anticlimac- 
tic, for the Cambodians had abandoned the vessel. But the 
helo assault on Koh Tang island, where Communists were 
supposedly holding the crew, became a bloody botch. 

"Hoping the Cambodians would see the error of their ways 
and not resist, the helos plunged in without prior air strikes. 
Immediately two helos crashed in flames with Marines 
aboard, and another plunged into the sea after dropping its 
helo team on the island. Scattered in three different LZs, the 
hundred or so Marines found themselves fighting for their 
lives against the enraged Cambodians. As the Marines fought 
the Communists, the crew of the Mayaguez returned safely to 
American custody from another island, which produced such 
command confusion and indecision that the Marines on Koh 
Tang did not receive reinforcements for half a day. In the 
meantime the three groups of Marines fought their way to one 
another, supported by Air Force fighters and an AC- 130 gun- 
ship. With the reinforcements . . . the landing team could 
hold enough of an LZ to allow a relatively safe extraction 
during the early evening. . . ."^ 

Like most plans, this one began to unravel almost immedi- 
ately, first in Washington, then in Thailand, and finally, at 
Koh Tang Island. External friction — a combination of enemy 
action and severe terrain — and internal friction — poor coordi- 
nation, miscommunication, and unclear, complicated plans 
with complex command relationships — ^together prevented 
the execution of the operation as planned. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

Friction is inevitable. Marine leaders must accept it, do 
everything in their power to minimize its effects, and learn to 
fight effectively in spite of it. 

Among the many factors that cause friction, perhaps the 
moral and physical challenges to leading are the hardest to 
overcome. Together, they can produce obstacles that may 
prevent leaders and units from accomplishing their mission. 
Although they affect us in very different ways, the moral and 
physical elements cannot be separated. Moral factors play an 
important role in developing the physical capacity of indi- 
viduals and of units. 

Moral challenge 

"Armies of superior numbers have been put to flight before 
one man out often has fallen. They were not beaten by blows 
which became more than flesh could bear. They were beaten 
in spirit according to laws as old as the human heart, and the 
victor is the one who can best apply those laws. " ^ 

When Marines "are moral, the moral power that binds them 
together and fits them for action is given its main chance for 
success. There should, therefore, be no confusion about how 
the word is being used. We are speaking both of training in 
morals for everyday living and of moral training that will 


FMFM 1-0 Challenges 

harden the will of a fighting body. One moment's reflection 
will show why they need not be considered separately. . . . 
When people conduct lives built on high moral standards and 
physical fitness, they tend to develop qualities that produce 
inspired leadership and discipline. It is not a new notion; it 
can be found in any great military force in the past." ^ 

A battlefield is the place where moral advantage is para- 
mount. Moral ascendancy is an imperative that serves as a 
primary means of getting the opponent to surrender his will to 
resist. Gaining moral ascendancy requires that subordinates 
feel that their leaders genuinely care for them, that they are 
fighting for a worthy cause and ensuring that their sacrifices 
are not made in vain. Trust in the Marine Corps and in unit 
leaders who consistently set the example expected of military 
professionals is vital to establishing unit cohesion. 

Acting as a buffer to protect subordinates is a key responsi- 
bility of any leader. Leaders must avoid "passing the buck." 
Leaders must, if necessary, act from the courage of their own 
convictions, even when such a position runs counter to the 
policy of seniors. Leaders must always accept full responsi- 
bility for their actions, as did the Commanding General, 1st 
Marine Division, in Korea. 

After the success of the Inchon landing and with high 
hopes of "being home by Christmas," General Mac Arthur 
pressed his troops for a knockout blow. Units throughout Ko- 
rea were pushed north. On November 1 1th, X Corps with the 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

1st Marine Division was ordered to advance all the way to the 
North Korean-Chinese border. In three separate columns un- 
able to provide mutual support, X Corps advanced north 
through rugged and difficult terrain. It quickly became a 
"headlong rush" and the commanding general of the Marine 
division was worried. His units had become strung out and 
spread along a single mountain road. He "feared his Marines 
were out on a limb. With the Eighth Army already thrown 
back in the west, his left flank was wide open. On November 
15, he wrote the Commandant: 'I believe a winter campaign 
in the mountains of North Korea is too much to ask ... I 
doubt the feasibility of supplying troops in this area during 
the winter or providing for the evacuation of sick and 
wounded.' . . . The temperature was 4° below zero. . . . 
[The commanding general] 'deliberately slowed' the Marine 
advance at Hagaru; his caution would 'prove the division's 
salvation in the weeks ahead.' "^ 

He and his regimental commanders "were now highly du- 
bious of what might lie ahead of them in the mysterious 
north. Deliberately, the Marines slowed their advance, even 
though [the X Corps commander] fretted at their lack of prog- 
ress. The Marines felt that, strung out as they must be in such 
terrain, a pellmell rush to the Yalu was highly dangerous. . . . 
Under . . . prodding, X Corps, including the reluctant, ex- 
posed Marines, pushed on." '° The division commander con- 
tinued to express his concerns to the corps commander. 


FMFM 1-0 ^Challenges 

The Marine commander "who had no confidence in [the] 
strategy . . . moved [his] regiments cautiously up the road to- 
ward Chosin and paid particular attention to his logistical ar- 
rangements and security force . . . along the main supply 
route (MSR). The weather on November 1 1 turned miser- 
able. The temperature fell from 32° to -8°, with gusting 
winds making the cold even more devastating. Provided with 
only about three-quarters of the cold weather clothing his di- 
vision required, [the general] ordered the protective clothes 
distributed to his combat units, but the first cold wave stupe- 
fied the troops. With its left flank unprotected . . . and with 
only scattered . . . units to its right, the division edged up the 
MSR. [The commanding general] and his staff deflected 
X Corps demands for more speed and nursed their gnawing 
suspicion that the 1st Marine Division faced a new war." " 

The moral courage of leaders is the key to keeping effec- 
tive combat units from becoming armed mobs. Moral cour- 
age is a private courage, a form of conscience that can often 
be an even tougher challenge than physical courage, espe- 
cially in peacetime. It serves not only as a foundation of our 
leadership philosophy; it is also a challenge that Marine lead- 
ers must face everyday. If Marines do not have the moral 
courage in peacetime to meet consistently the high standards 
and expectations of the Marine Corps, then they are not likely 
to have the moral courage to make the difficult decisions that 
may determine the outcome of a battle or a campaign. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

Physical challenge 

The physical demands of battle encompass more than being 
fit, and these demands influence both the leader and the led. 
The effects of sleep deprivation, poor diet, poor hygiene, and 
most importantly, fear, have to be understood and be a part of 
everyday training. No one is immune to fatigue. As Marines 
become increasingly tired, they may lose the ability to make 
rapid decisions and are susceptible to being confused, disori- 
ented, and ultimately ineffective. "Guts" and "pride" are not 
a substitute for fitness. A leader relying on "guts" and "pride" 
will not be able to concentrate fully on the mission or task at 

Exact limits of endurance cannot be determined, but physi- 
cal conditioning is one method of reducing the effects of 
physical exertion, and it can increase individual self- 
confidence and reduce stress. The physical development of 
Marine leaders must include dealing with the natural fear of 
interpersonal violence, which contributes significantly to the 
fog and friction of combat. Units, and their leaders, that do 
not have the mental and physical strength to overcome fear 
will not be able to fight effectively and overcome friction. In 
fact, one of the greatest sources of friction is physical exer- 
tion, and it may be required of individuals, units, or both. 
Captain John Ripley's actions in Vietnam vividly depict the 
physical demands sometimes placed on individuals. 


FMFM 1-0 Challenges 

"A rapidly moving, mechanized, North Vietnamese army 
force, estimated at reinforced divisional strength, was attack- 
ing south. ... It became imperative that a vital river bridge be 
destroyed if the overall security of the northern provinces of 
Military Region ONE was to be maintained. Advancing to 
the bridge to personally supervise this most dangerous but vi- 
tally important assignment, Captain Ripley located a large 
amount of explosives which had been prepositioned there ear- 
lier, access to which was blocked by a chain-link fence. In 
order to reposition the approximately 500 pounds of explo- 
sives. Captain Ripley was obliged to reach up and hand-walk 
along the beams while his body dangled beneath the bridge. 
On five separate occasions, in the face of constant enemy fire, 
he moved to points along the bridge and, with the aid of an- 
other advisor who pushed the explosives to him, securely em- 
placed them. He then detonated the charges and destroyed 
the bridge, thereby stopping the enemy assault." '^ 

A commander, fighting his battalion over 4 days of intense 
combat on Iwo Jima, demonstrated again the physical stamina 
required of leaders under stress. 

"Under a furious barrage of enemy machine-gun and 
small-arms fire from the commanding cliffs on the right. 
Colonel Chambers . . . landed immediately after the initial as- 
sault waves of his Battalion on D-Day to find the momentum 
of the assault threatened by heavy casualties from withering 
Japanese artillery, mortar, rocket, machine-gun and rifle fire. 
Exposed to relentless hostile fire, he coolly reorganized his 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

battle-weary men, inspiring them to heroic efforts by his own 
valor and leading them in an attack on the critical, impregna- 
ble high ground from which the enemy was pouring an in- 
creasing volume of fire directly onto troops ashore as well as 
amphibious craft in succeeding waves. 

"Constantly in the front line encouraging his men to push 
forward against the enemy's savage resistance. Colonel 
Chambers led the 8-hour battle to carry the flanking ridge top 
and reduce the enemy's fields of aimed fire, thus protecting 
the vital foot-hold gained. In constant defiance of hostile fire 
while reconnoitering the entire Regimental Combat Team 
zone of action, he maintained contact with adjacent units and 
forwarded vital information to the Regimental Commander. 

"His zealous fighting spirit undiminished despite terrific 
casualties and the loss of most of his key officers, he again re- 
organized his troops for renewed attack against the enemy's 
main line of resistance and was directing the fire of the rocket 
platoon when he fell, critically wounded. Evacuated under 
heavy Japanese fire. Colonel Chambers, by forceful leader- 
ship, courage and fortitude in the face of staggering odds, was 
directly instrumental in insuring the success of subsequent 
operations of the Fifth Amphibious Corps on Iwo Jima." '^ 

Not every Marine will face the same individual challenge 
as Captain Ripley, and not every Marine will lead an assault 
like Colonel Chambers, but some will. Marine leaders under- 
stand this and work continuously to improve the conditioning 


FMFM 1-0 Challenges 

of the Marines under their charge. Part of the leader's job "is 
to ensure that members of his or her command have every 
survival edge that can be provided. If people lack the coordi- 
nated response that comes only from long, varied and rigor- 
ous exercise, they w^ill lack cohesion in action, have much 
higher combat losses and uselessly expend much of their ini- 
tial velocity. . . . The gain in moral force deriving from all 
forms of physical training is an unconscious gain. Will 
power, determination, mental poise and muscle control all 
march hand in hand with the general health and well-being of 
the individual." " 

Friction and its elements of moral and physical challenges 
are perhaps the most difficult obstacles to effective leading. 
How Marines overcome these obstacles, and others not ad- 
dressed in this manual, is part of our heritage, passed down 
from our predecessors. 

Overcoming Challenges 

"Assure that all members of the command are acquainted 
with procedures. . . . ensure the free approach by subordi- 
nates for advice and assistance. ..." 

— Paragraph 1 100, Marine Corps Manual 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 


Adaptability has long been our key to overcoming the effects 
of friction and its components. Although it is synonymous 
with flexibility, adaptability also embraces the spirit of inno- 
vation. Marines constantly seek to adapt new tactics, organi- 
zation, and procedures to the realities of the environment. 
Deficiencies in existing practices are identified, outdated 
structure discarded, and modifications made to maintain func- 
tion and utility. The ability to adapt enables Marines to be 
comfortable within an environment dominated by friction. 
Experience, common sense, and the critical application of 
judgment all help Marine leaders persevere. 

Marine leaders are the most adaptive of any in the world. 
Their expeditionary ethos builds in them an ability beyond 
simply "leaving here," "going there," and "executing set-piece 
missions." Marine leaders are trained to go forward and 
adapt to situations, circumstances, and missions not known 
when they deployed. 

One Marine leader said, "Most often, the ingredients of 
victory are initiative, resourceftilness, adroitness, and im- 
provisation." '^ That is another way of describing adaptability, 
long a way of life for Marines. More than adapting to chang- 
ing weather conditions or being able to fight across any type 
of terrain, the Marine Corps' tradition of adaptability means 
"getting things done." It means a willingness to deviate from 


FMFM 1-0 Challenges 

the normal, accepted practices — even from doctrine — if that 
is what it takes. 

During Operation Desert Shield, as Marine forces began to 
expand their lodgment, one of the "greatest concerns was 
overland transportation. Doctrinally, the Marine Corps 
planned for moving support no more than about 50-80 kilo- 
meters from a beachhead port. Faced with double and triple 
these distances, . . . [Marine logistic leaders] resorted to a se- 
ries of practical if somewhat unconventional actions to solve 
the problem." By leasing as many civilian trucks as possible, 
virtually every truck in Saudi Arabia was thrown into some 
kind of use regardless of its age or mechanical condition. 
Dubbed "Saudi Motors," the new transport fleet grew to more 
than 1,400 vehicles and eventually included 50 colorfully 
decorated 10-ton lorries, over 200 civilian buses, and about 
100 rental cars — everything from Toyota Landcruisers, to 
Mitsubishis, to Jeep Cherokees donated from allied govern- 
ments. '^ 

It was this fleet, together with some quick thinking by 
Marine leaders that led to the establishment of a remote logis- 
tics base well beyond the distances "allowed" by Marine lo- 
gistics doctrine. A change in tactics by the ground maneuver 
forces required logisticians to move the main combat service 
support area along secure but unimproved main supply routes. 

"In addition, there were no airfields in the area for casu- 
alty evacuation or aerial resupply." Situated 170 kilometers 


Leading Marines 

FMFM 1-0 

and 355 kilometers from the ports of Mishab and Jubayl re- 
spectively, the logistics base, dubbed "Al Khanjar" (Arabic 
for a type of short sword), was built from the desert floor in 
14 days. When it was finished, it "included 38 kilometers 
of blastwall berm which contained among other things the 
Marine Corps' largest-ever ammunition supply point, 151 
cells in 768 acres, a five-million-gallon fuel farm, and a naval 
hospital with 14 operating rooms. The complex also included 
two 5,700-foot dirt airstrips capable of handling C-130 turbo- 
prop transports." '^ 


FMFM 1-0 Challenges 

The ability to improvise is a key characteristic of our 
Corps. In this case, the piecing together of hundreds of 
pieces of mismatched equipment, moving it over "impossi- 
ble" distances, and building a city in the desert literally turned 
dreams into reality. The ability to find a way — any way — to 
accomplish the mission is a hallmark of the Corps. All 
Marines should cherish it, nurture it, and believe in it. 


Innovation has always been a key component of Marine 
Corps tradition and our style of leadership. It has come natu- 
rally because our "combatant function was and is unique." '^ 
From the development of dive bombing in Nicaragua, through 
the pioneering of amphibious warfare between World Wars I 
and II, to operational maneuver from the sea. Marines have 
always sought fresh and decisive approaches to problems. In- 
novation requires that leaders listen to their subordinates and 
that a two-way system of communication is maintained. Cor- 
porals, sergeants, captains, and generals all have the responsi- 
bility to be innovators. 

Nowhere is our ability to innovate better demonstrated 
than in the development of our integrated air-ground combat 
team. The history of Marine aviation since its inception in 


Leading Marines 

FMFM 1-0 

1912 is a story of heroism, skill, dedication, and of continu- 
ous effort to develop better ways for air and ground forces to 
operate together. In aviation alone. Marines pioneered the 
development of close air support, helibome operations, mov- 
able expeditionary airfields, dedicated airborne electronic 
w^arfare platforms, vertical/short takeoff and landing jets, ex- 
peditionary maintenance organizations and expeditionary, in- 
teroperable air command and control systems. 

"Sharing the perils and thrills of flying biplanes with their 
Army and Navy comrades. Marine pilots had the added 


FMFM 1-0 Challenges 

advantage of actual combat operations in Haiti, the Do- 
minican Republic, and Nicaragua, which they used to de- 
velop techniques for supporting ground troops. Among those 
techniques was dive-bombing, first attempted by Lieutenant 
L. H. M. Sanderson in 1919, which may be a unique Marine 
contribution to aerial warfare." '^ 

Our reputation as innovators stems, in part, from periodic 
examinations of our role in the national defense structure. 
After World War I, our predecessors sought to redefine the 
Corps which had fought alongside the Army in the trenches in 
France. They focused on the requirement to seize advanced 
naval bases and developed doctrine for amphibious operations 
at a time when the other militaries of the world ignored it 
as — in the aftermath of Gallipoli — an impossible mission. As 
Marines became experts in amphibious operations, they also 
trained U. S. Army divisions in the tactics that would be used 
by them to land at, among other places, Casablanca, Sicily, 
Anzio, and Omaha Beach in the European theater; and at 
Kwajalein, Leyte, and Okinawa in the Pacific.^° Marines 
went further still and developed a landing craft and a reef- 
crossing tractor that became primary tools in both the Pacific 
and Atlantic theaters of World War II. 


Leading Marines 

FMFM 1-0 

"In the early 1920s, the Marines experimented with a 
British-designed 'Beetle boat' and a Christie amphibian trac- 
tor. ... In 1936, the Marines tried out five different commer- 
cial boats as possible landing craft. They even tested fishing 
boats and boats seized from rum runners; but all had exposed 
rudders and propellers, and men had to drop as far as 10 feet 
into the water. 

"The answers started to take shape when Andrew J. Hig- 
gins, a New Orleans boat builder, working with the Marine 
Corps and Navy, modified the shallow-water Eureka boat that 
he had designed for trappers and oil drillers on the Gulf 


FMFM 1-0 Challenges 

Coast. In April 1941, . . . Higgins [was shown] pictures that 
Captain Victor H. Krulak had taken of landing boats the Japa- 
nese used at Shanghai in 1937. One type had a ramp in its 
bow. At his own expense, Higgins put a retractable bow 
ramp on his 36-fdot Eureka boat; this became the precursor of 
the LCVP of World War II." ^' 

"After World War II, General Alexander A. Vandegrift 
summed up the importance of what the Marine Corps had 
achieved: 'Despite its outstanding record as a combat force in 
the past war, the Marine Corps' far greater contribution to vic- 
tory was doctrinal: that is, the fact that the basic amphibious 
doctrines which carried Allied troops over every beachhead 
of World War II had been largely shaped — often in the face 
of uninterested and doubting military orthodoxy — by U.S. 
Marines, and mainly between 1922 and 1935.' "^^ 

In the 1980's, Marines responded to the challenge of rap- 
idly getting ground forces to the Middle East by creating 
maritime prepositioning equipment and doctrine. And six 
decades ago, the Corps codified its vast experience in opera- 
tions other than war in the Small Wars Manual — a manual 
that is proving its continuing relevance in the emerging secu- 
rity environment of the latter part of the 20th century. ^^ 

The innovation of Marine leaders has changed the charac- 
ter of war. Whether it was leaders developing a system to use 
naval gunfire in support of landing forces, studying the art of 
dive bombing, figuring out how to drop bombs in the dark 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

and in all kinds of weather, or developing and proving the 
concept of maritime prepositioning, they all demonstrated the 
impact of Marine leaders who combined vision and initiative. 

"The essence of loyalty is the courage to propose the un- 
popular, coupled with a determination to obey, no matter 
how distasteful the ultimate decision. And the essence of 
leadership is the ability to inspire such behavior, ''^"^ 

One Marine leader developed a set of "rules" he followed 
to promote innovation and creativity. ^^ First, leaders should 
make it their duty to bring subordinates' ideas and criticisms 
to the surface where all may analyze and evaluate them. Ask 
for ideas and you will get them. Second, leaders must clear a 
path to their doorstep. Subordinates should use the chain of 
command, but ideas must rise to the top. Leaders must allow 
subordinates the opportunity to show initiative. Third, be- 
cause innovation is imprecise and because subordinates, espe- 
cially junior ones, will make mistakes, protect them. "Zero 
defects" are not a standard of measurement. They do not en- 
courage initiative; they stifle it. Lastly, emphasize that you 
expect honest expression of the subordinate's best thinking. 
Do not tolerate patronizing behavior. 

"If we wish to think clearly, we must cease imitating; if 
we wish to cease imitating, we must make use of our imagi- 
nation. We must train ourselves for the unexpected in place 
of training others for the cut and dried Audacity, and not 
caution, must be our watchword "^^ 


FMFM 1-0 Challenges 


Decentralization is simply authorizing subordinates to act, 
guided by commander's intent and focus of effort, in situa- 
tions where judgment and experience dictate action. The one 
concept that is repeated again and again within classic mili- 
tary literature is the advantage of allowing junior leaders to 
apply judgment and act upon their decisions. The Marine 
Corps has always enjoyed great success decentralizing au- 
thority to the lowest levels. Marines fighting expeditionary 
wars during the first half of this century exemplified this. 
Whether on duty in the Legation Quarter in China during 
the 1920's, with the Gendarmerie in Haiti, or on patrol with 
the Guardia in Nicaragua, junior Marines — sergeants and 
lieutenants — helped enforce United States policy, kept law 
and order, suppressed revolts against governments, and pro- 
tected American lives, interests, and property. 

During World War II, the actions of junior leaders were di- 
rectly responsible for our successes in the island campaigns 
of the Pacific. Decentralized decisionmaking — pushing 
authority, responsibility, and accountability to the lowest lev- 
els — promoted speed in execution. In battle after battle, 
small units were able to make a decisive difference because 
of the actions of subordinate leaders. Of Tarawa, Colonel 
Merritt A. Edson mentioned decentralization and adaptability 
as important parts of the final outcome. "It is my opinion that 
the reason we won this show was the ability of the junior 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

officers and noncoms to take command of small groups of six 
to eight or ten men, regardless of where these men came 
from, and to organize and lead them as a fighting team." ^' 

As a result of these experiences, the Marine Corps devel- 
oped the modem-day fire team and produced the world's fin- 
est noncommissioned officers. The tradition of encouraging 
decentralized decisionmaking continues today and is mani- 
fested in such peacetime duty as that performed by Marine 
Security Guard detachments commanded by staff noncom- 
missioned officers, drill instructors at recruit depots and Offi- 
cer Candidates School, and the small-unit combat patrols in 
the strife-torn streets of every comer of the globe. 

Testimony to the skills of Marine small-unit leaders was 
the development of the combined action program (CAP). 
First used with success in Haiti (1915-1934), Nicaragua 
(1926-1933), and in Santo Domingo (1916-1922), it was used 
again in Vietnam. ^^ There, the combined force was com- 
manded by a Marine squad leader — a sergeant or a corpo- 
ral — and demonstrated the positive benefits of decentraliza- 

"In principle, the CAP was simplicity itself. In execution, 
it demanded political and tactical sophistication. The pro- 
gram required that a specially selected and trained Marine ri- 
fle squad join a Popular Forces (militia) platoon and work in 
concert to provide continuous security from the VC. The 


FMFM 1-0 

- Challenges 

Marines would live and work among the people and inspire 
the PF to conduct night-time patrols and ambushes." ^^ 

Decentralization was at the heart of the CAP program. Its 
success lay in a tradition of Marine leadership: the encour- 
agement of subordinates. Give subordinates all the initiative 
and latitude they can handle by decentralizing authority. 
"Tell them what results you want, and leave the 'how' to 

"Make it clear what you want done and who is to do it. . . . 
Remember the old promotion-examination question for lieu- 
tenants, in which the student is told that he has a ten-man 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

working party, headed by a sergeant, and must erect a 75-foot 
flagpole. . . . Problem — How to do it? 

"Every student who works out the precise calculations of 
stresses, tackle, and gear, no matter how accurately, is graded 
wrong. The desired answer is simple: The lieutenant turns to 
the sergeant, and says, 'Sergeant, put up that flagpole.' "^' 


All leaders — even the most famous — lead in much the same 
way, at least partially, because they think in much the same 
way, "in terms of intuitions, fears, guilis, and occasional 
flashes of reasoned insight." ^^ Why then, do some Marine 
leaders succeed and others fail? What is it that some leaders 
have that others do not? What all successful leaders have in 
common is a strength of will that enables them to face the 
most challenging of tasks and extract the most from their sub- 
ordinates. Captain William Barber's performance from 28 No- 
vember to 2 December 1950 demonstrates the importance of a 
leader's will. 

"Assigned to defend a three-mile mountain pass along the 
division's main supply line and commanding the only route of 
approach in the march from Yudam-ni to Hagaru-ri, Captain 
Barber took position with his battle weary troops and, before 


FMFM 1-0 Challenges 

nightfall, had dug in and set up a defense along the frozen, 
snow-covered hillside. When a force of estimated regimental 
strength savagely attacked during the night, inflicting heavy 
casualties and finally surrounding his position following a 
bitterly fought seven-hour conflict. Captain Barber, after re- 
pulsing the enemy, gave assurance that he could hold if sup- 
plied by air drops and requested permission to stand fast 
when orders were received ... to fight his way back to a re- 
lieving force after two reinforcing units had been driven back 
under fierce resistance in their attempts to reach the isolated 

"Aware that leaving the position would sever contact with 
the 8,000 Marines trapped at Yudam-ni and jeopardize their 
chances of joining the 3,000 more awaiting their arrival at 
Hagaru-ri for the continued drive to the sea, he chose to risk 
loss of his command rather than sacrifice more men if the en- 
emy seized control and forced a renewed battle to regain the 
position, or abandon his many wounded who were unable to 

"Although severely wounded . . . Captain Barber continued 
to maintain personal control, often moving up and down the 
lines on a stretcher to direct the defense and consistently en- 
couraging and inspiring his men to supreme efforts despite 
the staggering opposition. Waging desperate battle through- 
out five days and six nights of repeated on-slaughts launched 
by the fanatical aggressors, he and his heroic command ac- 
counted for approximately 1 ,000 enemy dead in this epic 


Leading Marines 

FMFM 1-0 

stand in bitter sub-zero weather, and when the company was 
relieved, only 82 of his original 220 men were able to walk 
away from the position so valiantly defended against insuper- 
able odds. His profound faith and courage, great personal 
valor and unwavering fortitude were decisive factors in the 
successful withdrawal of the division from the deathtrap in 
the Chosin Reservoir sector. 


It was tough-minded leaders like Captain Barber and Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Ray Murray that held units together under 


FMFM 1-0 Challenges 

extreme stress. Lieutenant Colonel Murray, commanding the 
5th Marines at the Chosin Reservoir, summed up what was 
required of leaders: "I personally felt in a state of shock, the 
kind of shock one gets from some great personal tragedy, the 
sudden loss of someone close. . . . My first fight was within 
myself I had to rebuild that emptiness of spirit." ^"^ 

For leaders to hold units together under adverse conditions, 
they must first fight — and win — ^the battle within themselves. 

Fighting power and winning 

Fighting power is an organization's ability to conduct combat 
operations by overcoming challenges to lead, compete, and 
prevail on the battlefield. Creating and sustaining superior 
fighting power requires the combination of the tangible ac- 
tivities of war — maneuver, firepower, and protection — with 
the intangible elements of war — leadership, unit esprit, and 
individual courage. According to one historian, fighting 
power "rests on mental, intellectual, and organizational foun- 
dations; its manifestations, in one combination or another, are 
discipline and cohesion, morale and initiative, courage and 
toughness, the willingness to fight and the readiness, if neces- 
sary, to die. 'Fighting Power,' in brief, is defined as the sum 
total of mental qualities that make armies fight." ^^ 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

Fighting power is what took the 2d Marine Division over 
the seawall at Tarawa, into the face of prepared defenses and 
devastating fire; it is what kept the "flying leathernecks" of 
the "Cactus Air Force" on Guadalcanal launching again and 
again from the shell-pocked runway of Henderson Field; it is 
what brought the 1st Marine Division down intact from the 
Chosin Reservoir to the sea; and it was what three under- 
strength Marine battalions used to help recapture the Citadel 
in Hue City. 

Fighting power is what makes certain units superior to oth- 
ers on the battlefield; it enables organizations to sustain high 
casualties and continue their missions, and it can compensate 
for material deficiencies. Fighting power remains the ulti- 
mate measure of all military leadership effectiveness. 

For more than two centuries Marines have produced vic- 
tory. It has been the vitality of the Marine leader that has up- 
held the "critical foundations of our Corps in the searing 
cauldron of combat." Whatever the challenges, Marines have 
overcome them using the foundations of Marine Corps lead- 
ership — foundations steeped in the values, traditions, cus- 
toms, and history of our Corps. It is a unique blend of ethos 
and standards not found anywhere else in the world and is 
more than simple obedience to orders. Leading Marines is 
more than just a simple awareness of responsibility. It is a 
commitment and an obligation to those who follow. 



"The time always comes in battle when the decisions of 
statesmen and of generals can no longer effect the issue and 
when it is not within the power of our national wealth to 
change the balance decisively. Victory is never achieved 
prior to that point; it can be won only after the battle has 
been delivered into the hands of men who move in imminent 
danger of death. " * 

— S.L.A. Marshall 

FMFM 1-0 Epilogue 

In one of the many fights enroute to Chosin on the hills 
north of Yudam-ni, a private named Stanley Robinson had 
taken command of a decimated squad. Later wounded, 
Robinson lay on a stretcher in a warming tent of the medical 
battalion and listened "to the cascading sound of a fire fight to 
the north. It was not long before the ambulance jeeps drew 
up outside. Litterbearers brought in a stretcher and placed it 
alongside Robinson. 

" 'What outfit you from?' Robinson asked. 'Easy, 7th,' the 
inert figure mumbled. 'Did we get hit?' 'Clobbered. Mr. 
Yancey's wounded — so's the skipper — everybody is, I guess.' 

"Robinson sat up. In the darkness he got into his clothes 
and parka. He stifled a moan as he pulled the shoe-pacs on 
over his swollen feet. 'Be seein' you, Mac,' he whispered. 
Robinson stumbled to the entrance and lurched through the 
opening. The cold night air made him gasp. He was select- 
ing a weapon from a discarded stack of rifles when a 
corpsman came to him. 

" 'What'n hell you doin', Robinson?' 'What does it look 
like. Doc?' . . . Robinson slung the rifle over his shoulder and 
headed for the hill mass to the north. When he came to the 
steep hillside he had to crawl. The blisters on his feet had 
broken and his socks were wet with blood and pus. Robinson 
found his way to Easy Company, [and] he found Yancey. 
'What'n hell you doin' here?' Yancey asked hoarsely. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

'Looking for a job.' Yancey spat blood in the snow. 'You got 
one. Over there.' " ^ 

Private Robinson's action in 1950 captured the essence of 
Marine Corps leadership. Leaving the warming tent, select- 
ing a weapon, and struggling to rejoin his battered platoon 
was an act of extraordinary personal courage, but it was not 
an aberration; instead, it was an act that sprang from the rich 
tradition of Marine leadership manifested in hundreds of bat- 
tles — from Chapultepec to Blanc Mont Ridge to Okinawa. It 
is a tradition that continues today in countless ways and in 
countless places. 

Marines understand why there was no emotional greeting 
from Yancey when Robinson rejoined the platoon. Thanks 
were neither expected nor given. Both knew he would rejoin 
the outfit, if he could. They were Marines, with the enemy in 
their front, and their division decisively engaged. Where else 
could Robinson be? There was work to be done, serious fight- 
ing, and because of the actions of thousands of leaders like 
Private Robinson — leading teams, squads, and platoons — ^the 
outnumbered division prevailed. 

Thirty-three year's later, an unnamed lance corporal in Bei- 
rut asked the same question: "Where else should I be?" 
These examples, so tightly wound into the concepts of per- 
sonal example, courage, and unit esprit that they cannot be 
separated, demonstrate the eternal strength of the Marine 
Corps. For in the final analysis. Marine leaders must be 


FMFM 1-0 Epilogue 

prepared to act alone, when all others choose to sit, or when 
others find a way to stand aside to let someone else take the 
lead. Marines cannot stand aside because to do so compro- 
mises their very self-identity as Marines. Private Robinson 
understood this. Knowing that his fellow Marines counted on 
him, Robinson acted in the only way he could. 

One can always imagine situations in combat when the 
choices will be clear and obvious, though not necessarily 
easy. More difficult, but no less important, is discovering 
those challenges in peacetime. Preparing for those chal- 
lenges — what we do in training — shapes directly what we do 
in combat. In any team sport, teams play the way they prac- 
tice. Similarly, Marines fight the way they train. While it is 
easy to give in on the "small things," eventually that surren- 
der may cause the collapse of a "large thing" in combat. The 
actions of Private Robinson were the natural and logical cul- 
mination of his training and the leadership to which he had 
been exposed. Because it had been severe but fair, hard but 
rewarding, when he had to decide — alone — ^what to do, his 
choice was easy: He rejoined his Marines. 

All the rank in the world will not draw a fire team forward 
unless it has confidence in the Marine who leads it. Marines 
have a reasonable expectation that their leaders will come up 
with plans that will accomplish the mission and give them the 
best possible chance of succeeding. They do not ask for cer- 
tainty, just the best possible preparation and skills from their 
leaders. The Marine Corps works hard to train leaders, but 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

the most important and fundamental leadership training and 
education must come through self-study and self-examination. 

Marines do not climb from their fighting holes, or leave 
warming tents, and go forward into fire, the unknown, and 
possibly even death because of grandiose visions about the 
national interest, the international security structure, or even 
love of family or our American culture. They go forward be- 
cause of their friends and comrades — fellow Marines, who 
display their special skills and abilities for each other, and of- 
ten, in the ultimate loneliness of close combat, for each other 
alone. As was said of Marines in Korea, "These Marines had 
pride in their service, which had been carefully instilled in 
them, and they had pride in themselves, because each man 
had made the grade in a hard occupation. They would not 
lightly let their comrades down. And they had discipline, 
which in essence is the ability not to question orders but to 
carry them out as intelligently as possible."^ 

And we still don't let our comrades down. The risk of 
death has always been preferable to letting a fellow Marine 
down. This is expressed in the actions of a rifleman continu- 
ing forward in rushes under heavy fire, and in a pilot bring- 
ing his aircraft around for another attack while the antiair- 
craft guns continue to seek the range. This is why the word 
"Marine" has always been synonymous with the very best 
self-sacrificing leadership our nation produces. 


FMFM 1-0 Epilogue 

These enduring foundations support more than just our in- 
stitution. They support individual Marines for the rest of 
their lives, in service and out. A former Marine described his 
"foundations" this way: 

"My life experience has taught me again and again the 
value of the time I spent in the Marine Corps. The values I 
learned and lived while a Marine, the values of self-reliance, 
self-discipline, honor, courage as well as physical and mental 
toughness have enabled me to make a success of my life. 
Moreover, I would add this bit of perspective; the Marine 
Corps has won many victories for which it is famous. How- 
ever, the Corps has won many personal and private victories 
in the hearts and minds of the men and women who have 
worn the uniform. It has . . . imbued the lives of many com- 
mon Americans with the necessary character traits to master 
their own lives and to achieve great things. These many per- 
sonal victories sometimes go unnoticed but they are meaning- 
ful and of great value, in-and-of-themselves, as well as to this 

"It is this continuity of the spirit, purpose, and tradition, 
these many and intangible forces, which are the strengths that 
support Marines as they go into harm's way. We are what our 
institution demands that we be; and our institution is what 
it is because of these foundations; no more and no less. ^ 
Marines lead because of the adaptability, innovation, strength 
of will, and devotion to our Corps learned from our 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

predecessors. They lead, and win, not because of what they 
may be as individuals, but rather because of what they are as 

"The U, S, Marine Corps has evolved its mystical appeal 
slowly f through an unusual combination of circumstance, 
good fortune, and, most of all, conviction in the hearts of 
resolute men. It is a combination that has both strength- 
ened and brought glory to the United States, 

"Although the Corps contains its share of visible heroes, 
its triumphs, in an aberration of history, are triumphs of 
the institution itself and not the attainments of individual 
Marines, We remember that Marlborough defeated the 
French, that Togo defeated the Russians, that Scipio de- 
feated Carthage. But we know only that it was the Marines 
who won at Belleau Wood, the Marines who won at Guadal- 
canal, the Marines who led the way at Inchon, And that is 
exactly the way the Corpses heroes — big and small — would 
have it, for the Corps is less of the flesh than of the spirit, "^ 

These are the legacies that we have inherited and that we 
must pass on. Learn them, study them, and live them. 

Semper Fidelis 



Marine Corps Manual, Paragraph 1100 — Core Values - 
Leadership Traits — Leadership Principles — The Oaths 

FMFM 1-0 Marine Corps Manual 

Marine Corps Manual 

1 . Purpose and Scope 

a. The primary goal of Marine Corps leadership is to in- 
still in all Marines the fact that we are warriors first. The 
only reason the United States of America needs a Marine 
Corps is to fight and win wars. Everything else is secondary. 
In North China in 1937, Captain Samuel B. Griffith said, 
"Wars and battles are not lost by private soldiers. They win 
them, but don't lose them. They are lost by commanders, 
staffs, and troop leaders, and they are often lost long before 
they start." Our leadership training is dedicated to the pur- 
pose of preparing those commanders, staffs, and troop leaders 
to lead our Marines in combat. 

b. Marine Corps Leadership qualities include: 

(1) Inspiration — Personal example of high moral stan- 
dards reflecting virtue, honor, patriotism, and subordination 
in personal behavior and in performance. 

(2) Technical proficiency — Knowledge of the military 
sciences and skill in their application. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

(3) Moral responsibility — Personal adherence to high 
standards of conduct and the guidance of subordinates toward 
wholesomeness of mind and body. 

2. Responsibility 

a. The Commandant of the Marine Corps is directly re- 
sponsible to the Secretary of the Navy for establishing and 
maintaining leadership standards and conducting leadership 
training within the Marine Corps. 

b. Commanders will ensure that local policies, directives 
and procedures reflect the special trust and confidence re- 
posed in members of the officer corps. Full credit will be 
given to their statements and certificates. They will be al- 
lowed maximum discretion in the exercise of authority vested 
in them, and they and their dependents will be accorded all 
prerogatives and perquisites which are traditional and other- 
wise appropriate. Except in cases where more stringent posi- 
tive identification procedures are required for the proper 
security of classified material and installations, or are im- 
posed by higher authority for protecting privileges reserved 
for eligible military personnel, the officers' uniforms will am- 
ply attest to their status, and their oral statements will serve to 
identify them and their dependents. 

c. An individual's responsibility for leadership is not de- 
pendent upon authority. Marines are expected to exert proper 
influence upon their comrades by setting examples of 


FMFM 1-0 Marine Corps Manual 

obedience, courage, zeal, sobriety, neatness, and attention to 

d. The special trust and confidence, which is expressly re- 
posed in officers by their commission, is the distinguishing 
privilege of the officer corps. It is the policy of the Marine 
Corps that this privilege be tangible and real; it is the corre- 
sponding obligation of the officer corps that it be wholly 

(1) As an accompanying condition commanders will 
impress upon all subordinate officers the fact that the pre- 
sumption of integrity, good manners, sound judgment, and 
discretion, which is the basis for the special trust and confi- 
dence reposed in each officer, is jeopardized by the slightest 
transgression on the part of any member of the officer corps. 
Any offense, however minor, will be dealt with promptly, and 
with sufficient severity to impress on the officer at fault, and 
on the officer corps. Dedication to the basic elements of spe- 
cial trust and confidence is a Marine officer's obligation to the 
officer corps as a whole, and transcends the bonds of personal 

(2) As a further and continuing action, commanders 
are requested to bring to the attention of higher authority, ref- 
erencing this paragraph, any situation, policy, directive, or 
procedure which contravenes the spirit of this paragraph, and 
which is not susceptible to local correction. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

(3) Although this policy is expressly concerned with 
commissioned officers, its provisions and spirit will, where 
applicable, be extended to noncommissioned officers, espe- 
cially staff noncommissioned officers. 

3. Personal Relations. Effective personal relations in an or- 
ganization can be satisfactory only when there is complete 
understanding and respect between individuals. Commanders 

a. Strive for forceful and competent leadership through- 
out the entire organization. 

b. Inform the troops of plans of action and reasons there- 
for, whenever it is possible and practicable to do so. 

c. Endeavor to remove on all occasions those causes 
which make for misunderstanding or dissatisfaction. 

d. Assure that all members of the command are ac- 
quainted with procedures for registering complaints, together 
with the action taken thereon. 

e. Build a feeling of confidence which will ensure the 
free approach by subordinates for advice and assistance not 
only in military matters but for personal problems as well. 

4. Relations Between Officers and Enlisted Marines. Duty 
relationships and social and business contacts among Marines 


FMFM 1-0 Marine Corps Manual 

of different grades will be consistent with traditional stan- 
dards of good order and discipline and the mutual respect that 
has always existed between Marines of senior grade and those 
of lesser grade. Situations that invite or give the appearance 
of familiarity or undue informality among Marines of differ- 
ent grades will be avoided or, if found to exist, corrected. 
The following paragraphs written by the then Major General 
Commandant John A. Lejeune appeared in the Marine Corps 
Manual, Edition of 1921, and since that time have defined the 
relationship that will exist between Marine officers and en- 
listed members of the Corps: 

a. "Comradeship and brotherhood. — The World War 
wrought a great change in the relations between officers and 
enlisted men in the military services. A spirit of comradeship 
and brotherhood in arms came into being in the training 
camps and on the battlefields. This spirit is too fine a thing to 
be allowed to die. It must be fostered and kept alive and 
made the moving force in all Marine Corps organizations. 

b. "Teacher and scholar. — The relation between officers 
and enlisted men should in no sense be that of superior and 
inferior nor that of master and servant, but rather that of 
teacher and scholar. In fact, it should partake of the nature of 
the relation between father and son, to the extent that officers, 
especially commanding officers, are responsible for the 
physical, mental, and moral welfare, as well as the discipline 
and military training of the young men under their command 
who are serving the nation in the Marine Corps. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

c. "The realization of this responsibility on the part of of- 
ficers is vital to the well-being of the Marine Corps. It is es- 
pecially so, for the reason that so large a proportion of the 
men enlisting are under twenty-one years of age. These men 
are in the formative period of their lives, and officers owe it 
to them, to their parents, and to the nation, that when dis- 
charged from the services they should be far better men 
physically, mentally, and morally than they were when they 

d. "To accomplish this task successfully a constant effort 
must be made by all officers to fill each day with useful and 
interesting instruction and wholesome entertainment for the 
men. This effort must be intelligent and not perfunctory, the 
object being not only to do away with idleness, but to train 
and cultivate the bodies, the minds, and the spirit of our men. 

e. "Love of corps and country. — To be more specific, it 
will be necessary for officers not only to devote their close at- 
tention to the many questions affecting the comfort, health, 
military training and discipline of the men under their com- 
mand, but also actively to promote athletics and to endeavor 
to enlist the interest of their men in building up and maintain- 
ing their bodies in the finest physical condition; to encourage 
them to enroll in the Marine Corps Institute and to keep up 
their studies after enrollment; and to make every effort by 
means of historical, educational and patriotic address to culti- 
vate in their hearts a deep abiding love of the corps and 


FMFM 1-0 Marine Corps Manual 

f. "Leadership. — Finally, it must be kept in mind that the 
American soldier responds quickly and readily to the exhibi- 
tion of qualities of leadership on the part of his officers. 
Some of these qualities are industry, energy, initiative, deter- 
mination, enthusiasm, firmness, kindness, justness, self- 
control, unselfishness, honor, and courage. Every officer 
should endeavor by all means in his power to make himself 
the possessor of these qualities and thereby to fit himself to 
be a real leader of men." 

5. Noncommissioned Officers. The provisions of para- 
graphs 1 100.3 and 1 100.4 above, apply generally to the rela- 
tionships of noncommissioned officers with their 
subordinates and apply specifically to noncommissioned offi- 
cers who may be exercising command authority. 


FMFM 1-0 Core Values 

Core Values 

Generation after generation of American men and women 
have given special meaning to the term United States Marine. 
They have done so by their performance on and off the battle- 
field. Feared by enemies, respected by allies, and loved by 
the American people. Marines are a "special breed." This 
reputation was gained and is maintained by a set of enduring 
core values. These values form the cornerstone, the bedrock, 
and the heart of our character. They are the guiding beliefs 
and principles that give us strength, influence our attitudes, 
and regulate our behavior. They bond our Marine family into 
a total force that can meet any challenge. 

HONOR: The bedrock of our character. The quality that 
guides Marines to exemplify the ultimate in ethical and moral 
behavior; never to lie, cheat, or steal; to abide by an uncom- 
promising code of integrity; to respect human dignity; to have 
respect and concern for each other. The quality of maturity, 
dedication, trust, and dependability that commits Marines to 
act responsibly; to be accountable for actions; to fulfill obli- 
gations; and to hold others accountable for their actions. 

COURAGE: The heart of our core values, courage is the 
mental, moral, and physical strength ingrained in Marines to 
carry them through the challenges of combat and the mastery 
of fear; to do what is right; to adhere to a higher standard of 
personal conduct; to lead by example, and to make tough 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

decisions under stress and pressure. It is the inner strength 
that enables a Marine to take that extra step. 

COMMITMENT: The spirit of determination and dedica- 
tion within members of a force of arms that leads to profes- 
sionalism and mastery of the art of war. It leads to the 
highest order of discipline for unit and self; it is the ingredient 
that enables 24-hour-a-day dedication to Corps and Country; 
pride; concern for others; and an unrelenting determination to 
achieve a standard of excellence in every endeavor. Commit- 
ment is the value that establishes the Marine as the warrior 
and citizen others strive to emulate. 

Reaffirm these core values and ensure they guide your per- 
formance, behavior, and conduct every minute of every day. 


FMFM 1-0 

Leadership Traits 

Leadership Traits 

Knowledge Justice 

Courage ^n y^ Enthusiasm 

Decisiveness ^S^^/ Bearing 

Dependability ^^Ia) Endurance 

Initiative m M Unselfishness 

Tact ' ^ Loyalty 


FMFM 1-0 Leadership Principles 

Leadership Principles 

Be technically and tactically proficient 

Know yourself and seek self-improvement 

Know your Marines and look out for their welfare 

Keep your Marines informed 

Set the example 

Ensure the task is understood^ supervised^ and accomplished 

Train your Marines as a team 

Make sound and timely decisions 

Develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates 

Employ your unit in accordance with its capabilities 

Seek responsibility, and take responsibility for your actions 


FMFM 1-0 The Oaths 

The Oaths 

The oath that accompanies commissionings, enlistments, and 
promotions should not be taken lightly. While the words are 
simple, when Marines swear "to support and defend the 
Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign 
and domestic," they are assuming a most challenging and 
defining obligation. What a Marine is actually doing is 
"pledging his means, his talent, his very life, to his country. 
This is an obligation that falls to very few. . . ." ' 

The oath is one of acceptance. Because it is an oath of 
consent, taking the oath of allegiance is the pivotal factor 
which changes the status from that of civilian to that of 
Marine. After taking the oath. Marines find themselves 
transformed in a way that cannot be captured in words. It is 
why Marines long out of uniform bristle at being called 
"ex-Marines" because they consider themselves to still be 
Marines. ^ 

The oaths appear on page 108. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

Oath of Office 

m^AW //f^/xi, ufyf'/A a/MU aMeyaicf/^t/xi. /a)- wx'y ikfrnwy; /./uU Qy ^aJr/i w^A 
<)/MAlaAi/4xy^(. ^ifee/zu, , aji//b(yf>U a/n/u nt^/tUa/ 'y<y^/)f^{i<f/A'xyii, <;^-/W^//?4<? of 
(ytxfMoz/h; a/7ia /:/uU Q7 (ftiM (f)e// a/tul p(fA/riJ^////u d(A<Jiyay^u<i Um 
(if/XfA'A o/Z^/iAi oMtxxi <y/h at^xxJi, Q/ a/m^ (f/xM//^ lo- mvte/y . G/h /iAdh nw. 

Oath of Enlistment 

QJ (fJ4/// i4/,/iJM)^l (mm (muy^ui wxi ^^o^f^lf^z/uy/f. od /Jui ' /mmI/xaI 
QHa/cA ayOAM/fiAl aM CAixymyUi'S , i{yy<ifAi/)(, (f//ul {IfynwAlu; ; /JuU Cy tm// 
/i<Af/tf //F'f.txi, uUUiy a/ful aMcxiuf/7ux'y /x) ^m^y ifr/nu^y,- a/Hxl /JuU Cy' fmu 
o/k'/u ^/m o^a<yy6. oiwx'y ^/ wyi4x/xytd oC mxi f(/tM/xxl(7y^(f'/x'A ((/^ul tm'. 

{yi^axytf^ O'l /wy^ oMfxxyy^' (fJiJimz/Uexl {yixvF 'tue, rnxxyyax^ui, /x)- 
'if<i<pmxf/fxy^(A' (r/}ul /^/m ' /mU^)^/^^ \^o/m <)'iO/f{x/f/xr/t'^u^T^4/dux',. CJo- 


FMFM 1-0 Trust 


■An/Mi u^ f*uif. f^'Aoatna :^kec<ai /xici/ ana coji/taence tn /Af ^a^'m^ium . va/o)' . Menlu 
and a/fi^/i^f:^ <^ . J' ac, 

With these few short words, Marine leaders are set apart from 
other American citizens. The special trust granted officers by 
the President of the United States or to enlisted Marines by 
the Commandant of the Marine Corps gives leaders certain 
privileges, but more importantly, subjects them to special 
responsibilities and obligations. Dedication to the basic 
elements of special trust and confidence is the Marine leader's 
obligation to the Marine Corps as a whole, and transcends the 
bonds of personal friendship.' 

t-/<3 ci/i utAo i^AoM {tee me&e fvt^e6enA, a/t^^^^,: 

KM/n/Hft Jff, vta^ f^Aocitna i^fna/ f'>>.<u,f ana ron/iaenrt> tn /Af /tafU^y ana apt/i/u 


FMFM 1-0 Notes 


There are hundreds, even thousands, of excellent books, arti- 
cles, and vignettes on leading. Only a few have been cited in 
this book, but many others were extremely useful as back- 
ground material. A study of some of the works cited in this 
book would be a good starting point for independent research 
and reading on the art of leading Marines. 

Corrections and modifications in quotations have been 
made where appropriate to condense, to clarify, or to make 
points clearer. Every effort has been made to keep the essen- 
tial message of the original. All textual modifications have 
been indicated in the endnotes. 

Our Ethos 

1. T. R. Fehrenbach, This Kind of War (New York: 
Bantam Books, 1991) p. 183 and p. 182. 

2. Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, USMC (Ret.), 
First To Fight: An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps 
(Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1984) p. 155. 



Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

4. Captain John W. Thomason, Jr., USMC, Fix Bayo- 
nets! (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1927) p. ix. 

5. On 25 October 1983, 2 days after the bombing, then 
Commandant of the Marine Corps, General P. X. Kelley, vis- 
ited the U. S. Air Force Regional Medical Center in Wies- 
baden, Germany, where he met with Lance Corporal Jeffrey 
Nashton who had been critically injured. 

6. This is from remarks by General Robert H. Barrow 
before the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania 2 June 1981. 

7. Much of the material in this section "The U.S. Ma- 
rine" is taken from General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., "What Is It 
That Makes Marines?," Marine Corps Gazette (March 1993) 
p. 15 unless otherwise noted. 

8. Malcolm S. Forbes, "They Know Their Business," 
Forbes (December 1, 1963) p. 33. 

9. Thomason, p. xiv. 

10. Fehrenbach, p. 168. 

11. Colonel Robert Debs Heinl, Jr., \]SMC, Soldiers of 
the Sea: The United States Marine Corps, 1775-1962 (Anna- 
polis, MD: United States Naval Institute, 1962) p. 542. 


FMFM 1-0 Notes 

12. Ibid, p. 543. 

13. Ibid, p. 603. 

14. Much of the material in this section "Every Marine a 
Rifleman" is taken from General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., "Every 
Marine a Rifleman," Marine Corps Gazette (January 1993) 
pp. 12-13 unless otherwise noted. 

15. William Manchester, Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir 
of the Pacific War (Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Com- 
pany, 1979) p. 391. 

16. Master Sergeant C. V. Crumb, FMCR, "What It 
Means To Be a Marine," Marine Corps Gazette (January 
1960) pp. 20-21 with textual changes. 

17. Much of the material in this section "Soldiers of the 
Sea" is taken from General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., "What Is It 
That Makes Marines?," Marine Corps Gazette (March 1993) 
p. 15 unless otherwise noted. 

18. Earl H. Ellis, "7 1 3 H— Operation Plan, Advanced 
Base Operations in Micronesia 1921" (Washington D.C.: 
U. S. Marine Corps Museums, Personal Papers Collection) 
p. 20. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

19. Much of the material in this section "The Marine Tra- 
dition" is taken from General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., "What Is It 
That Makes Marines?," Marine Corps Gazette (March 1993) 
p. 14 unless otherwise noted. 

20. Armed Forces Information Service, The Armed 
Forces Officer (Washington, D.C.: Department of Defense, 
1975) pp. 56-57. 

21. Krulak, pp. 160-161. 

22. Fehrenbach, p. 640. 


1 . Major General John A. Lejeune, USMC, as quoted in 
Marine Corps Manual, Paragraph 1100.4a. See p. 97. 

2. U. S. Marine Corps, FMFM 1, Warfighting (Wash- 
ington, D. C: Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps, 1989) p. 45. 

3. Charles Edmundson, "Why Warriors Fight," Marine 
Corps Gazette (September 1944) p. 3 with minor textual 

4. FMFM 1, Warfighting, p. 44. 


FMFM 1-0 Notes 

5. U. S. Marine Corps, NAVMC 2767, User's Guide to 
Marine Corps Leadership (Washington, D. C: Headquarters, 
U. S. Marine Corps, 1984) Section 203: Profession of Arms, 

p. 1. 

6. General Sir John Hackett, The Profession of Arms 
(New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1983) p. 202. 

7. Colonel Robert D. Heinl, Jr., USMC (Ret.), The 
Marine Officer's Guide, 4th ed. (Annapolis, MD: Naval Insti- 
tute Press, 1977) p. 367. 

8. Adapted from Major Guy Richards, "You and Your 
Troops," Marine Corps Gazette (December 1944) p. 30. 

9. A letter to General L. F. Chapman, Jr., USMC, as 
cited in a letter to All General Officers and All Commanding 
Officers, dated 19 July 1971, with minor textual changes. 

10. U. S. Marine Corps, Marine Corps Manual, Para- 
graph 11 00.1 b(l). See p. 93. 

1 1 . Major General John. A. Lejeune, USMC, The Remi- 
niscences of a Marine (Philadelphia: Dorrance and Company, 
1930: reprint ed., Quantico, VA: Marine Corps Association, 
1990) p. 100. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

12. Armed Forces Information Service, 77?^ Armed 
Forces Officer (Washington, D. C: Department of Defense, 
1975) p. 50. 

13. From CMC correspondence flies. 

14. The Navy Cross: Vietnam, edited by Paul D. Stevens 
(Forest Ranch, CA: Sharp and Dunnigan Publications, Inc., 
1989) p. 25. 

15 NAVMC 2767, Section 205: Instilling and Develop- 
ing Values, pp. 12-13 with changes. 

16 Ibid, Section 206: Ethical Leadership, p. D-4 with 
minor textual changes. 

17 Ethics for the Junior Officer, edited by Karel Montor 
(Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1994) p. xv with mi- 
nor textual changes. 

18. Much of the material in this paragraph is taken or 
adapted from John Silber, "The Ethics of the Sword," remarks 
made 21 February 1989, The Morse Auditorium, Boston Uni- 
versity, Boston, MA. 

19. /Z?/(i, typescript, p. 21. 

20. Ibid. 


FMFM 1-0 Notes 

21. Taken and adapted from Charles Edmundson, "Why 
Warriors Fight," p. 3. 

22. The Congressional Medal of Honor: The Names, The 
Deeds (Forest Ranch, CA: Sharp and Dunnigan Publications, 
Inc., 1984) pp. IfAX-Al with additional paragraph indentation. 

23. Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, USMC (Ret.), Across 
the Reef: The Marine Assault of Tarawa (Washington, D. C: 
U. S. Marine Corps Historical Center, 1993) p. 25. 

24. Ibid, p. 15. 

25. Ibid,p.\l. 

26. Allan R. Millett, Semper Fidelis: The Story of the 
United States Marine Corps (New York: Macmillan Publish- 
ing Company, 1980) pp. 397-398. 

27. Jon T. Hoffman, Once A Legend (Novato, CA: Pre- 
sidio Press, 1994) pp. 379-380. 

28. Edmundson, p. 8 with minor textual changes. 

29. Ibid, with minor textual changes. 

30. Ibid, p. 9. 

3 1 . Ibid, with minor textual changes. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

32. Jane Blakeney, Heroes: U. S. Marine Corps 
1861 -1 953 — Armed Forces Awards-Flags, "First Marine Di- 
vision, Reinforced" (1957) p. 362. 

33. Millett, p. 498. 

34. Corporal Gary C. Cooper, "Guideposts to Leader- 
ship," Marine Corps Gazette (July 1960) p. 35 with minor 
textual changes. 


1. Carl von Clausewitz, On War, translated and edited 
by Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton, NJ: Prince- 
ton University Press, 1989) pp. 187-188. 

2. /Z>/(i, p. 119. 

3. NAVMC 2767, User's Guide to Marine Corps Lead- 
ership (Washington, D.C.: U. S. Marine Corps, 1984) Section 
217: Combat Leadership, p. 12. 

4. Clausewitz, p. 119. 

5. U. S. Marine Corps, FMFM 1, Warfighting (Wash- 
ington, D.C.: Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps, 1989) p. 5. 


FMFM 1-0 Notes 

6. Allan R. Millett, Semper Fidelis: The History of the 
United States Marine Corps (New York: Macmillan Publish- 
ing Company, 1980) pp. 605-606 with additional paragraph 

7. Lynn Montross, War Through the Ages (New York: 
Harper & Brothers, 1946) p. 36. 

8. Armed Forces Information Service, The Armed 
Forces Officer (Washington, D. C: Department of Defense, 

1988) p. 61 without paragraph indentation. 

9. J. Robert Moskin, The U.S. Marine Corps Story 
(New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1977) pp. 
731-732 without paragraph indentation. 

10. T. R. Fehrenbach, This Kind of War (New York: 
Bantam Books, 1991) p. 336 without paragraph indentation. 

11. Millett, pp. 491-492. 

12 The Navy Cross: Vietnam, edited by Paul D. Stevens 
(Forest Ranch, CA: Sharp and Dunnigan Publications, Inc., 

1989) p. 272. 

13. The Congressional Medal of Honor: The Names, The 
Deeds (Forest Ranch, CA: Sharp and Dunnigan Publications, 
Inc., 1984) p. 282 with additional paragraph indentation. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

14. Armed Forces Information Service, The Armed 
Forces Officer, pp. 62-63. 

15. Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, USMC (Ret), 
First to Fight: An Inside View of the U. S. Marine Corps (An- 
napolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1984) p. 111. 

16. Charles J. Quilter, U.S. Marines in the Persian Gulf 
1990-1991: With the I Marine Expeditionary Force in Desert 
Shield and Desert Storm (Washington, D.C.: History and Mu- 
seums Division, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps) pp. 

17. Ibid, pp. 55-56. 

18. }<j:u\ak. First to Fight, p. 67. 

19. Millett,p. 333. 

20. Moskin, p. 465. 

21. /Z)/V/, pp. 465-466. 

22. Ibid, p. 464. 

23. A reprint of the 1940 edition of this manual is avail- 
able to Marine units as FMFRP 12-15 (PCN 100 
013580 00). 


FMFM 1-0 Notes 

24. Lieutenant General Victor A. Krulak, USMC (Ret.), 
"A Soldier's Dilemma," Marine Corps Gazette (November 
1986) p. 24. 

25. Ibid, pp. 29-31. 

26. J. F. C. Fuller, Generalship: Its Diseases and Their 
Cure (Harrisburg, PA: Military Service Publishing Com- 
pany, 1936) p. 86. 

27. Jon T. Hoffman, Once A Legend: "Red Mike" Edson 
of the Marine Raiders (Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1994) 
p. 249. 

28. YjiwXdH^, First to Fight, p. 190. 

29. Millett, p. 571. 

30. Colonel Robert D. Heinl, Jr., USMC (Ret.), The Ma- 
rine Officer's Guide, 4th ed. (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute 
Press, 1977) p. 371. 

31. Ibid, p. 374. 

32. James B. Stockdale, Foreword to Foundations of 
Moral Obligation by Joseph G. Brennan (Newport, Rl: Na- 
val War College Press, 1992) p. xi. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

33. The Congressional Medal of Honor, pp. 35-36. Para- 
graph indentations added. 

34. Fehrenbach, p. 349. 

35. Martin van Creveld, Fighting Power: German and 
U.S. Army Performance, 1939-1945 (Westport, CN: Green- 
wood Press, 1982) p. 3. Van Creveld is the leading theorist of 
the concept of "fighting power," and the description contained 
herein builds on this earlier work. 


1. S. L. A. Marshall, Man Against Fire (Gloucester, 
MA: Peter Smith, 1978) p. 208. 

2 Andrew Geer, The New Breed (Nashville, TN: The 
Battery Press, 1989) pp. 281-282 without paragraph 

3. T. R. Fehrenbach, This Kind of War (New York: 
Bantam Books, 1991) p. 183. 

4. This material was taken from a letter dated 8 October 
1994 from William L. Henson to the Commandant of the 
Marine Corps. 


FMFM 1-0 Notes 

5. Adapted from General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., "What Is It 
That Makes Marines?," Marine Corps Gazette (March 1993) 
p. 15 with minor textual changes. 

6. Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, USMC (Ret.), 
First To Fight: An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps 
(Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1984) p. 222. 

Marine Corps Manual 

1. Marine Corps Manual (with changes 1 and 2 and 
message 122003Z Aug 87, ALMAR 178/87) (Washington 
D.C.: Department of the Navy, Headquarters U. S. Marine 
Corps, 1980) para. 1100, pp. 1-21. 

The Oaths 

1. Admiral Arleigh Burke, USN, as quoted in Colonel 
Robert D. Heinl, Jr., USMC (Ret.), The Marine Officer's 
Guide, 4th ed. (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1977) 
p. 260. 


Leading Marines FMFM 1-0 

2. James C. Gaston and Janis Bren Hietala, eds., Ethics 
and National Defense: The Timeless Issues, "The Officer's 
Oath: Words that Bind," by James H. McGrath (Washington, 
D. C: National Defense University Press, 1993) pp. 27-28. 


1 . Marine Corps Manual, para 1 1 00.2d( 1 ) adapted to in- 
clude all Marine leaders. 


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